Everything Language and Grammar

Complete Lack of Tolerance for Tolerance

Posted by languageandgrammar on October 30, 2008

Tolerate means to allow or to permit, and a person has no more right to allow or to permit another person (or group of people) to be different from himself or herself than I have to permit or to allow you to do what you’re doing right now.

I know that tolerance of others is considered a good thing, especially in political circles; however, tolerance is different–much different–from acceptance. If you decide to tolerate a person because of that person’s gender, sexuality, race, religious beliefs, or anything else, then you are doing so with the assumption that you have the right to establish some sort of random standard on what is acceptable—that the person somehow falls short of what he or she should be but that you are generously making allowances. You don’t, and you shouldn’t claim that right–unless you want others to make a claim on accepting–or not accepting–you based on your gender, sexuality, race, religious beliefs, or anything else and on their standards of what you should be.

Tolerance implies superiority.

Accept people for who they are–don’t tolerate anyone.

–Paul and Sherry

Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

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