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Why Using The Words 'Committed Suicide' Is Only Making Things Worse | Fox&Co. Mental Health
Author Article By using the word 'committed,' we cast suicide in an immoral or illegal light. (Photo: songpholt/Shutterstock) There's little doubt that language — the words we use and how we use them — has a profound influence on culture. Over time, some words even burrow so deeply into our collective mindset that they change the way we think. As Antonio Benítez-Burraco writes in Psychology Today, "Languages do not limit our ability to perceive the world or to think about the world, but they focus our perception, attention, and thought on specific aspects of the world." Different words spoken in different languages don't just dress the same concept. They shape and often redefine that concept — imparting meaning as much as they describe it. When it comes to language, we've got a lot wrapped up in the wrapping, particularly when it comes to very sensitive concepts like the taking of one's own life. To describe that act, we're still using the term "committed suicide." And while