Monday, March 12, 2007

Deafblind or Deaf-blind?

Is deafblind a compound word? I have often thought about it. If it is not, then it should be. That way I can be more consistent about using that term without the dash.

Read this article.

And this one.

The way I look at it-it's a condition that is. by itself, unique. It is not a deafness and/or blindness thing. It's a way of life. Two different disablities wrapped up in one. If it's hyphenated, then it's lumping the deafness and blindness issue together, but separately. If it's a compound word, it's a combination of both-it's unique. A deaf person and a blind person has different coping mechanisms than a deafblind person has. Unlike a deaf person, a deafblind person cannot rely on their sight. By the same token, a blind person relies on his or her hearing. A deafblind person does not. Why should it be a hyphenated word?

I hope that somewhere down the line, it becomes consistent and corrected. We already have too many "is it one word or two words" in the English language. When you read it in context, you understand how it's meant to be used. For the compound words; however, it's just a matter of how much it's used and/or changed, I guess.

I just hope deafblind does, if it hasn't already, become used without the hyphen.


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