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2 Comments

  • I’m surprised to learn that spaz and spastic are considered fairly innocuous in the US. Born and raised in NYC (which may well not be indicative of the US as a whole) I remember being told in the late 60s that they were highly offensive terms and should be dropped from my vocabulary. And I haven’t heard them used for many years. Perhaps this depends on locale within the US. Or whether or not one is raised to have concern for other people’s feelings.

  • After a couple of high-profile uses (and subsequent apologies) by Tiger Woods and Weird Al Yankovic, Mark Liberman wrote at Language Log about the divergence: how “spaz and the longer form spastic have become innocuous playground slang in the US but a grave insult in the UK”.