As people have come to recognise the power of words, we've worked hard to eliminate hate speech and the prejudices that usually accompany it, including sexism, racism and bigotry. It's high time that we also recognised the devastating effects of speciesism and worked to counteract it and the words that fuel it.
From working at Mencap I have lots of friends and colleagues who have a learning disability. Nearly all have had to listen to offensive language from others at some point in their life. It's ignorant to use such terms. It's just slang, you might say, it's just a joke, it's not actually. It's just the same as using racist or homophobic words.
Last November when I was going through treatment for my primary breast cancer I blogged about the top ten words or phrases that, as a breast cancer patient, I feared or loathed the most and wanted removed from the dictionary. In the last few weeks and months since my secondary diagnosis, I've revisited these.
During a packed day of filming I realised that I've come down with a serious affliction: I'm a 'liker'. Likers are people who use the word 'like' in a variety of ways that have nothing to do with a comparison or expressing a fondness for something. I had that Matrix moment of self-awareness when I heard myself saying the words, "I was like, you can't do that."
Unlimited immigration from the EU is not a good thing. Immigration is, according to the polling, the second most important issue in British politics today - behind only the economy. In his Conference speech Labour's Ed Miliband, the man hoping to be our next Prime Minister, 'forgot' to mention both the economy and immigration. Understandable perhaps, given Labour's record on both issues when they were in government.
The piece revolves around the concept that when trying to confront the issue of talking to disabled people the advice is always negative, always a list of "don't"s and rarely "do"s. Mr Hoge then states that most of these are the opinion of the authors and then gives a list that he states are things "you can say to someone with a disability".
After last weekend's Bestival, the UK's festival's season starts to draw to a close. It's been an amazing summer of tunes, good times and memories we'll never forget. But what have we learned? Well, young people have a special way of speaking at festivals for one thing. In fact, the festival circuit has developed a language all of its own..