Saturday, May 14, 2005

On Referring to Little People

The New York Times, doing a piece on an Iraqi television show, uses a term that sounds pretty jarring these days:
Fawzi's friend Ahmad (played by Behjet al-Juburi), a midget who had been pursuing an unlikely romance with a beautiful young woman next door, finds happiness. They marry and have twins.
Is there no better term? It's like referring to people with Downs Syndrome as mongoloids. (Incidentally, says midget is as offensive as mongoloid.)

And, while the Times is trying to be less offensive, it might try viewing a relationship between a little person and "beautiful young woman," as something other than "unlikely." That sort of observation is pretty condescending and probably more editorial in nature than necessary.


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