Glossaries can be quite useful, especially for books on specialized topics (e.g., transgender activism) that rely on subject-specific terminology.
However, a drawback of glossaries is that they tend to give the impression that the words listed have cut-and-dried meanings that remain largely undisputed.
This approach ignores the fact that most words are highly contextual, exhibiting multiple meanings or differing connotations depending upon the context.
Many words and phrases can be used in both positive and negative ways, or in productive and disparaging ways.
This is the online glossary for my third book: Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism.
Transgender Transexual Essay
It begins with a brief introductory essay, followed by the glossary itself (which you can skip ahead to by clicking that link).While in an individual instance, word elimination may seem perfectly justified (especially in cases where the term has a long history of being used predominantly as a slur), the reality is that any and all words can be readily subjected to this sort of defamation - even our personal favorites!Over the years, I have witnessed word elimination campaigns against virtually every trans-related word that I can think of (many specific examples are listed here).There would also likely be claims that “guitar-playing person” is a more appropriate and respectful term than “guitarist,” arguments over whether people who additionally play other (less stigmatized) instruments count as “real guitarists,” and calls for more inclusive labels because “guitarist” does not seem to include people who play other stigmatized stringed instruments like the banjo, ukulele, and others.I am by no means mocking activist responses to language here.But nowadays, I strive to avoid word-sabotage - when our belief that our favored word is inherently appropriate, righteous, liberating, and/or inclusive, leads us to automatically presume that people who use alternative language must be behaving in an offensive, incorrect, repressive, and/or exclusionary manner.I have also become suspicious of word-elimination strategies - when we point to some aspect of a word’s origin, history, aesthetic quality (or lack thereof), literal meaning, alternate definitions, potential misinterpretations or connotations, or occasional exclusionary or defamatory usage, and use that as an excuse to claim that the term is oppressive and should be eliminated from the lexicon.I subsequently discussed this phenomenon further here, here, and in the introductory essay above. : a person who is not a member of a particular minority or marginalized group, but who works to challenge the discrimination that group faces.While allies are necessary and generally viewed in a positive light, activists may sometimes express ambivalent or suspicious feelings toward them for reasons I touch on in Outspoken, pp. : a neologism I created for people who at certain points in their lives have been happy in monogamous relationships, and at other times have been happy in ethically non-monogamous/polyamorous relationships (see Outspoken, pp. My intention was to show that these relationship statuses do not comprise a strict binary, nor a hierarchy where one is inherently more moral, healthy, or evolved than the other.However, if guitarists did face severe stigma and undue scrutiny in our culture, then I can assure you that there would be debates over language and calls to eliminate or replace certain words.Some guitar activists would likely argue that the phrase “minor chord” trivializes our existence; that the word “fret” gives the false impression that people should be afraid of us; that “power chord” and “hammer on” play into media stereotypes of guitarists as violent; that “pickup” and “G string” perpetuate the sexualization of guitarists.