Archive for September 25th, 2012

September 25, 2012

Deaf Culture

deaf pride

Chuck Baird

Deaf culture describes the communities that are affected by deafness and which use sign languages as the main means of communication. When used as a cultural label, the word deaf is often written with a capital ‘D,’ and referred to as ‘big D Deaf’ in speech and sign. When used as a label for the audiological condition, it is written with a lower case ‘d.’ Members of the Deaf community tend to view deafness as a difference in human experience rather than a disability, preferring to be called ‘Deaf’ or ‘Hard of Hearing’ than ‘Hearing Impaired,’ which most people think is the most acceptable term today.

The community may include family members of deaf people and sign-language interpreters who identify with Deaf culture and does not automatically include all people who are hard of hearing. According to sign-language interpreter Anna Mindess, ‘it is not the extent of hearing loss that defines a member of the Deaf community but the individual’s own sense of identity and resultant actions.’ As with all social groups that a person chooses to belong to, a person is a member of the Deaf community if he or she ‘identifies him/herself as a member of the Deaf community, and other members accept that person as a part of the community.’

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September 25, 2012

Fictional Profanity


Mork & Mindy

Profanity in science fiction (SF) shares all of the issues of profanity in fiction in general, but has several unique aspects of its own, including the use of alien profanities (such as the alien expletive ‘shazbot!’ from ‘Mork & Mindy,’ a word that briefly enjoyed popular usage outside of that television show).

In his advice to other SF writers, Orson Scott Card states that there are no hard-and-fast rules for the use of profanity in SF stories, despite what may have been expected of writers in the past. The onus is squarely on the writer to determine how much profanity to use, to enquire as to each magazine publisher’s individual limits, and to think about the effect that the use of profanity will have on the reader, both in terms of how the reader will perceive the characters and in terms of how the reader will be offended by the story as a whole.

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