Even language is inherently heightist.

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joshbaskins
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Small Talk
Even language is inherently heightist.
post #1

Think about the following phrases in English. 

       
  • “To look up to someone” - To admire someone, this person sets the standard
  •    
  • “To look down on someone” - To deem someone inferior
  •    
  • “Punching up” - To take on a challenge greater than oneself
  •    
  • “Punching down” - To pick on those lesser than oneself
  •    
  • “To be above something/someone” - Being too good for a certain task/person
  •    
  • “He is beneath me” - I will not reduce myself to his standard
  •    
  • “To lower oneself” - To exhibit morally inferior behavior
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  • “Taking the high road” - Walking the path of honor
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  • “Taking the low road” - Taking the dishonorable path
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  • “To rise above” - Exceeding expectations, overcoming challenges
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  • “To fall short” - Not meeting expectations, failing, not being enough
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  • “Short-changing someone” - Not giving someone back enough money
  •    
  • Short position (trading) - Expecting something will lose value
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  • Long position (trading - Expecting something will gain value
  •    
  • “Lick up, kick down” - Glaze your superiors, haze your inferiors
  •    
  • “Walking tall” - Walking with pride and dignity
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  • “Standing tall” - Standing with pride and dignity
  •    
  • “Being the bigger man” - Exhibiting more honor and virtue than your opponent
  •    
  • “The little guy” (politics) - The common people, those without power in society
  •    
  • “Standing on the shoulders of giants” - Relying on the achievements of great predecessors
  •    
  • “To be head and shoulders above” - Being significantly better than
  •    
  • “To be dwarfed by” - Having either your size or your achievements eclipsed
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  • “Belittling someone” - Making someone out to be/feel lesser
  •    
  • “Upgrade” - Improvement
  •    
  • “Downgrade” - Deterioration

Those are the ones that come to mind at the moment. Feel free to add to this list.

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TheDestroyer
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Re: Even language is inherently heightist.
post #2

Muhammed Ali made similar observations about race and language. Found this gem on YouTube.