According to the American Heritage®
Dictionary of the English Language, there are two definitions
for the word cur•mudg•eon,
The first one being:
An ill-tempered person full of
resentment and stubborn notions.
Or, my personal favorite:
A crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn
I know that the Caregiver Curmudgeon has
been quiet as of late, but that does not mean he hasn't been
watching and listening. What a joy it is to hear so many
positive stories about caregivers in the media as of late. Now
that there are a significant amount of people talking about
caregivers and caregiving, I think that it is time to establish
(or conform to) some mutually agreed upon language rules.
Language is so very important because the words we use help
establish the feelings we have as a society about subjects of
In particular, the reason for the return of
the Caregiver Curmudgeon is the use by the media of the words
"suffering with" and "victim" when talking about our loved
ones. For example, a person living with Parkinson's, is
certainly a person who is living with Parkinson's, but they are
also many more things to themselves and those who love them.
People do not need to be dehumanized by merely being
categorized, classified and defined by their disease, in person
or in print. (Feel free to replace the word "Parkinson's"
in the above sentence with any other disease, illness. or
disorder.) I am actually astonished by how many experts use
these phrases in their press releases, books and writings. I
don't know about you, but I think we can all do better.
P.S. the winner by a
landslide, in last week's T-Shirt selection is shown below: