These are the Para-Olympics for Para-Olympians. Ignore other spellings.

The Olympic Games are widely known. It is a resounding title, containing the illustrious word “Olympic” with connotations of Mount Olympus, the ancient gods and sporting prowess. Those who compete in these competitions are known, rightly, as “Olympians”. It is an august title.

So why are the current games known as the “Paralympics” and their contenders “Paralympians”. This is absolutely demeaning, with clumsy linguistic overtones close to “Paraly-sis”. But it has become ingrained in journalistic usage at least in English. No, no and no! These are the Para-Olympic Games and the contestants are Para-Olympians.

Even Google suggests that I am in error in even searching for the term Paraolympics. Nevertheless, I was pleased (but not mollified) by a few Internet mentions of the correct terms by a few brave souls.

Shame on those marketers and officials who invented this ridiculous shadow of a title (just to save one letter and perhaps a hyphen) and on all those compliant journos who did nothing to stop its spread.

Don’t you agree?
If not, why not?

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One Comment on “These are the Para-Olympics for Para-Olympians. Ignore other spellings.”

  1. J. Salavert Says:

    I agree with you that the shortcut they have chosen to adopt is ridiculous, and probably demeaning, too. Curiously enough, Spanish has two alternative spellings: ‘paralímpico’ and ‘parolímpico’, which suggests to me that at some point it was deemed ‘necessary’ to supress the hyphen and create a neologism at all costs. The saddest thing, in my view, is that etymologies are lost to ‘new’ users of languages (I’ve almost given up on my boys talking about which team their team is ‘versing’ this weekend. It’s a lost battle!).
    Un saludo,


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