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invalid wife

Discussion in 'English Only' started by redgiant, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Background: Dr Kelso was having a hectic schedule in the hospital. He entrusted Janitor with a task of fetching cash from a pickle jar at home. When Janitor returned in a new leather jacket, Kelso suspected he bought it with money he stole from him. His suspicion grew stronger when he went home and saw his estranged wheelchair-bound wife in a plush pant suit. In this scene, he went back to confront Janitor, threatening to call the police on him if he didn't give the money back.

    Hi,
    I know "invalid" means "disabled", but I wonder if "invalid" strikes you as a minority usage that you'd rather use "disabled" instead.
     
  2. schoolhouse

    schoolhouse Junior Member

    New England, USA
    USA English
    I'd prefer disabled.

    In reading it, I notice the ambiguity—that the wife might not be valid. When spoken aloud, the pronunciation would show which meaning is intended.

    Also I think of an invalid as being sick and usually confined to bed rather than as a disabled person in a wheelchair.
     
  3. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    Disabled usually refers to a permanent condition. An invalid is a person who has suffered a serious but often temporary illness.

    invalid1 /ˈɪnvəlɪd/
    nouna person made weak or disabled by illness or injury.
    http://www.wordreference.com/definition/invalid


    ________________________________________________________________________________
    Important note: There are two adjectives 'invalid' and they have exactly the same spelling but are pronounce differently.

    INvalid == weakened from illness

    inVALid == unsound or unrecognised
     
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    In AE is there a difference in pronunciation between INvalid and inVALid as I described above?
     
  5. schoolhouse

    schoolhouse Junior Member

    New England, USA
    USA English
    Yes. (When I noticed this was from a TV show, I edited my answer above.)
     
  6. redgiant Senior Member

    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks for your help Biffo and schoolhouse~ Just rewatched that part. Yes, Janitor pronounced it as /ˈɪnvəlɪd/. Kelso's wife was disabled but also suffered ill health (obesity, glaucoma) . Perhaps Janitor was thinking more about those illnesses during the confrontation.
     
  7. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    So do I. Neither being obese nor having glaucoma would make her an invalid.
     

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