deaf-mute / deaf and dumb

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sancholibre

Senior Member
English
Sentence:

"The use of language covers many areas from which we can mention the “language access” where people with disabilities are communicating themselves, such as the deaf and dumb."

I am noticing in my blogs using "deaf and dumb." I don´t find it approapiate to use in society, even this article agrees. Is there something more modern and approapiate than saying "deaf-mute"?
 
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  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I don't know the technical or the most PC terms. I actually don't quite understand your question.

    Maybe: speech and hearing impaired
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Sentence:

    "The use of language covers many areas from which we can mention the “language access” where people with disabilities are communicating themselves, such as the deaf and dumb."

    I am noticing in my blogs using "deaf and dumb." I don´t find it approapiate to use in society, even this article agrees. Is there something more modern and approapiate than saying "deaf-mute"?


    I couldn't see the first sentence in the blog you link to. If it really is a quote, you should give the source. " Deaf and dumb" is highly offensive.


    The link you give is to a blog, which in turn links to the newspaper article in question. The version I see does use 'mute' instead of the word 'dumb' in the headline. Maybe they changed dumb when people protested.

    The article is about a man who has no hearing so he's 'deaf', and is unable to communicate in any way either by speech or signing so he's 'mute' too, or by the written word, poor fellow. The article is about whether such a person can be sent to trial.
    I think 'mute' is being used appropriately and inoffensively in the headline to mean somebody with whom there's no way of communicating. I didn't read the article so I don't know if he was referred to as a 'deaf-mute' in the text. I have never heard the term deaf-mute and neither has my friend who works as a facilitator for the deaf and those with partial hearing. She has never met somebody who couldn't communicate at all. Many can in fact speak intelligibly. You'd expect deaf people's literacy levels to be as high or low as that of the general population. I have the idea that illiteracy rates are shockingly high in both the USA and the UK.

    It sounds as if this poor fellow had received no special education and, even though he has his sight, he's been as neglected as the deaf used to be in the days of Helen Keller and for centuries.

    I don't know what medical term is used for those who really can't speak for some reason, disease or injury. We'd usually just say that somebody can't speak or has lost their speech or lost the ability to speak.

    Hermione
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    'Impaired' means 'affected to some extent', not necessarily entirely or completely.
    If I say "Her sight/hearing/speech is impaired", I mean impaired 'to some extent'. It might be a euphemism for "She can't see/hear/ speak". That would depend on the context.
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    Deaf- mute seems to be the common and acceptable term. When I was a child I heard deaf and dumb however at some point using dumb became unpopular as some people use dumb to mean stupid.
    Television programs sometimes say that closed captioning is for the deaf and hearing-impaired. Can't hear or speak sounds like a definition of deaf- mute so would not be used as a fixed phrase.
     
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