Twisted tongue injuries

August 6, 2015

Ruby Wax is reported to be “seeking to end the stigma surrounding mental health” (HE & me, 30 July). In a similar but more extreme linguistic vein, I have recently heard lay commentators express concern about those “suffering from mental health”.

Circumlocutory, euphemistic language is the order of the day as the profession deserts the medical model concept of mental “illness” and searches for non-stigmatising and non-judgemental terms. However, as a result, we are in danger of tying ourselves up in ludicrous linguistic knots like the above.

And perhaps any new lexicon also needs to question the use of the word “mental”, for this is also certainly a pejorative and stigmatising word when used in the vernacular.

Yanina Sheeran
Shipley, West Yorkshire

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