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?

Explore posts in the same categories: English Language

Tags: , , , ,

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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,

    Jorge


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: