What It Should Have Been: Edition #4

By Alvan Yap

There goes the bell – we’re into round 4.

We’ve been seeing much more sunshine and positivity from the mainstream media. There seems to be less bounding and suffering and handicapping going on these days. Either that, or we’re missing a lot of them.

Anyway, the day when this column – by round 12 perhaps? – is no longer needed will be a happy day. I’m looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, the slough continues.

*****

Straits Times, 26 August 2013
70,000 walkers pound the streets for a cause

Original:
Elderly and wheelchair-­bound residents took the spotlight in Yuhua.

Amended:
Elderly residents and wheelchair users took the spotlight in Yuhua.

Why?
This error has appeared in examples in every column so far, and has been explained too.

Un-bound the wheelchair users, shall we?

Set them free.

*****

TODAY, 6 September 2013
Special needs school to start 3D programme 

Original:
Mr Izad said while the school has students who suffer from only autism and are in the high-functioning Boost class, it also takes in those with profound disabilities, some of whom require wheelchair support and even feeding tubes.

Amended:
Mr Izad said while the school has students who have only autism and are in the high-functioning Boost class, it also takes in those with profound disabilities, some of whom require wheelchair support and even feeding tubes.

Why?
(Note it is not clear if Mr Izad is the one who used the term “suffers from” or if it was paraphrased by the reporter.)

This has been covered in the previous column. But let me try another analogy: Saying that a person “suffers from autism” makes as much sense as saying Zoe Tay “suffers from being Chinese” or that Daniel Craig “suffers from having blue eyes”.

Autism is not a disease or illness; it is a neurological condition inherent to the person.

***

Xin MSN
Synopsis of “Sudden”

Original:
Guo Zheng Xin dies while Qiliang is wheel­chair bound.

Amended:
Guo Zheng Xin dies while Qiliang is injured and becomes a wheel­chair user.

Why?
As above. (Note the context: they were involved in an accident.)

***

Braddell MRT Station

Original:

"Handicapped" is, like, so passé. (photo by Alvan/DPA)

“Handicapped” is, like, so passé. (photo by Alvan/DPA)

Amended:
Accessible Toilet or Toilet for the Disabled

Why?
Also covered before. Don’t use ‘handicapped’ to describe people with physical disabilities. Say “people with disabilities” or “disabled people” (depending on context).

****

By the way, if you’re here for the first time, have a look at more gory examples at Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

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