Posted by: Kelley Dees | April 8, 2011

People-First Language

People-first language is a form of linguistic prescriptivism in English, aiming to avoid perceived and subconscious dehumanization when discussing people with disabilities, as such forming an aspect of disability etiquette.

The basic idea is to impose a sentence structure that names the person first and the condition second. For example, “a person with disabilities” rather than “a disabled person.”

There are many critics of people-first language because of the unnatural sentence structure that they feel draws even more attention to the disability by changing natural English syntax, which normally places adjectives before nouns.

What are your thoughts?

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

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