I understand wanting to avoid offence, but the best way to do that isn’t by using the most up-to-date terms if community members aren’t even using them. I see terms like Latinx and even Latine being thrown around, and these terms are not popular outside progressive and leftist organising. Latine is particularly rare. People still use Hispanic if they’re from a Spanish-speaking Latin American culture like Mexico or Argentina. Not to mention, the best thing to do is refer to a specific ethnicity, such as Puerto Rican, Mexican, or Costa Rican instead. Latinx? Rarely. Latine? Practically never. I understand why people want to use gender-neutral labels, but there are more elegant ways to do that, including “Latin American” or even “Latin.” (Seriously, why bother with Latinx and Latine when you can just drop the final vowel and make it “Latin”?)

Over the past several years, some mental health advocates have shifted toward “psychiatric disability” from “mental illness,” but some international nonprofit organisations have already moved on from this and are now saying “psychosocial disabilities,” a term that your average person with a psychiatric condition will not recognise. There are enough people and organisations still saying “mental illness” that a term like “psychosocial disabilities” will seem alien to them. Even “psychiatric disabilities,” my preference, is still novel to them. You can’t hit people with too many novel terms or you’ll confuse them. This is one of my biggest problems with the state of left-wing activism these days. You need to introduce ideas to them slowly, with simple language, and all this jargon isn’t helping anybody get closer to understanding neurological or ethnic minorities (yes, I still use the word “minorities,” despite all the pushback I get outside this blog).

There are some cases in which the common term should be changed—for example, most of the terminology referring to high weight should be scrapped, since the primary term is a pejorative masquerading as a neutral medical term. But in this case, the community has roundly rejected it. This is not the case for expressions like Hispanic, Latino, or psychiatric disability (or even mental illness). None of these are pejoratives, and all of them are used by community members in ways that Latine is not.