Removing Negative Connotations
Aimee Mullins Keynotes - Aimee Mullins' keynotes spotlight her success in athletics, modelling and acting despite a medical...
Beginning her speech with the thesaurus entry for cripple, Aimee outlines how all the words connected to cripple revolve around an idea of being incomplete, miserable and incapable. Language instructs the way people think, to say something out loud transforms it from a notion into a reality. The associations and exceptions inherent in phrases and words continue to prevent individuals from achieving the reality they want.
Using the question about overcoming adversity Mullins describes how the question itself implies that happiness entails overcoming the supposed pitfalls of a life with prosthetic legs. Rather than exacerbating negative impressions, language should catch up to technology and work to bolster the human spirit and encourage hope.