Languages Politics

The Power of Language

When we worked among the Kouya we were always surprised at how family terms were fairly fluid. For instance any male of your own generation was a brother and a woman in your family of the generation above you could be called ‘mother’. People had no trouble recognising who their mother was, but family closeness meant that terms would spread to include others. I’ve thought that British family life compared poorly to the closeness and support of the Kouya situation. This really came home to me today reading this post from Ian Dale. It seems that the Scottish NHS is suggesting that the terms ‘father’ and ‘mother’ be dropped altogether because they are discriminatory! Words fail me!

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