How to gain vocabulary
The limits of language are the limits of the world
Author Park Ilhwan
Experts say that Mendel's terms of genetic law, 'dominant' and 'thermal,' indicate whether a gene's characteristic is easy to appear. However, it was easy to be misunderstood because of the words 'excellent' and 'lagging.' People diagnosed with 'heated hereditary disease' often have negative images and become anxious.
The Korean Society of Genetics and Human Genetics has been reviewing the terminology through consultations with the Japanese Society of Human Genetics. As a result, Woosung has decided to change its usage to 'visible' 顯, noticeable properties, and 'thermal' to 'potential' 潛, hidden properties.' Also, the word 'variant,' which is used as a translation of 'variation,' has been changed to 'diversity.' It aims to convey the basic idea that the diversity of genetic information varies from person to person. In addition, the term 'colorblindness' or 'colorblindness' was changed to 'colorblindness' based on the perception that the way colors appear varies from person to person.
— Kyunghyang Shinmun (September 7, 2017)
Vocabulary has more meaning than a symbol that indicates a particular object or phenomenon. People with different social, historical, cultural experiences and religious beliefs are bound to like or dislike a specific vocabulary. One way is to create and write as neutral a vocabulary as possible, but even that is often not easy.
If so, what will you do? Even if it is difficult, you have no choice but to strive to achieve social consensus constantly, and you can choose and use a vocabulary that suits your values. As more people use a specific vocabulary like that, you will find that vocabulary naturally takes place at some point. Consider the term 'worker' in the past. In the past, they were forced to use the term 'worker' rather than worker, and even 'worker' was treated as impure or partisan. Even now, May 1st is called 'Worker's Day' rather than 'Labor Day' at the government level, but almost no one sees it with strange eyes just because the term 'worker' is used. This results from more workers calling themselves workers, not workers, saying that times have changed that much.
As language is a product of the times, the vocabulary used is bound to change according to the trend of the times. Of course, efforts are needed to create, spread, and consistently use vocabulary containing the values the times require.
In Lee Gyu-ho's book The Power of Words, a passage says, "Acts of verbal expression are not only a matter of rhetoric 修辭 or literature, but also of ethics" (p. 46). Considering the ethics of words, it is easy to understand why people shouldn't use words like "donkey." If you can't think about how painful the word "donkey" can be to a member of a family with a disability, you should see that the person's ethics index is low. In that sense, it is ethically correct to use the word "morbid" instead of the word "psychotic." A person who uses the right hand to mean the right-hand needs to see that a left-handed person may feel uncomfortable with the word.