Words Matter: Huffington Post’s poor word choice.

Today I was surprised by a crass gaffe courtesy of the Huffinton Post.
As a user, I expect content to be edited, researched, thought-out and interesting. I like to stick to trusted sources for this reason, so there’s a fair chance that what I’m reading is at least factually correct.

I received an email from the Technology editor of the Huffington Post with the juicy, irresistible article title, If You Have A Mac, Memorize These 13 Keyboard Tricks. Eager for more mac keyboard MAGIC, I did what was expected of me, what any rational person would do in this instance, I clicked the link and started reading.

The tips were great, some were familiar, some where new, so I, as a reader, felt good about my position on the mac knowledge axis. All is well, the birds are singing, I am learnin’.

But then I read Tip Number 12.

Screenshot included below, however the text is copied in below.

Huffington Post's inappropriate use of the word 'spastic'
Huffington Post’s inappropriate use of the word ‘spastic’

12. If you’re a fast reader or a little spastic, try


Ummm, hello editors at the Huffington Post, the word ‘spastic’ is offensive in every possible way. The UK Spastic Society had to change their name in 1994 because of the negative associations of the word. I understand it is not as offensive to Americans but any term in the same language with two such different interpretations should not be used, for fear of causing offence and alienating readers. This feels like a rookie mistake and I would expect better from such a publishing behemoth.

Badly done HuffPost.

I’ve contacted Huff Post explaining my issue with the word and asking them to correct it – we shall see…

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