Word Crazy

Somebody was talking about ableism the other day. Ableism is the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. As an example, she picked crazy and insane and said, “When we can describe the characteristic with alternative words, why do we need to use these negative words?”

I’ve never thought that crazy and insane could be offensive words, but I see her point. Also, it’s a good exercise when you craft a story. So let’s do this!

For a situation, we can use “out of control,” “impossible,” “preposterous,” “no way.”

For a person, “Is s/he serious?”

What else can we say?

When I was invited to a storytelling show the other day, I replaced words carefully and tried to see if the audience’s reaction would be different. Surprisingly or not, the reaction was the same, but when I said “I go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs,” the audience went wild.

Give it some extra thought the next time you craft a story. You may come up with a better phrase!

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