Wednesday, May 9, 2012

“Diabetic Living”

I’m diabetic.  Or, in a somewhat wordier formulation (which, personally, as Minimalists, we abjure -- but yourselves, feel free, feel free), I am a diabetic, or I have diabetes.  And as a rigorous logician, I am constrained to assent to positive truth-value of the proposition

“I am a Person With Diabetes”

(pronounce PEE-wid; sorry, inside joke).  But stylistically, linguistically, politically, and philosophically, I despise the formulation.   It reeks of self-coddling, lawsuits, and stupid excuses.   Far better to just drop dead now right on the spot, thus providing some useful employment for the sexton, than to dwell in such a mindset as that.

But indeed it gets worse.   My wife (more mindful of my health than I am myself), subscribes to a magazine titled

Diabetic Living

Even my own normally more than adequate vocabulary of abuse  tosses in the towel before the prospect of adequately reviling this psycho-socio-semantic monstrosity.


The original offender was “sex life”, a pseudo-hip but  in reality  demeaning term.   You may be a chef or a  trencherman, but you wouldn’t like to be asked about your “food life”.  At your check-up, the doctor may inquire about your regularity, but will hardly inquire about your “toilet life”.   “How’s your math life?” would actually make more sense, since you can indeed devote your life to mathematics;  but no-one ever asks that.

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