Not insane. Unsane.

by loup-vaillant 1 min read17th Feb 201266 comments


Edit :Excellent suggestions in the comments. Two of them stood out for me:

  1. "Untaught" may be better.  It is less connoted (if at all), conveys about the right meaning, and can be understood by about anyone (thanks, shminux).
  2. Using a word to name a category can raise walls around it. In this case, we must be extra careful not to stigmatize the very people we'd like to join us (thanks, daenerys).

We often use "insane" to describe people whose behaviour or beliefs are below the sanity waterline. But as most must would agree here, you cannot call someone insane with a straight face just because he happens to believe in magic.

I'm currently watching Future by Design, a documentary featuring Jacque Fresco and the Venus Project. Jacque came up with this word, "unsane", to describe people who basically, aren't rational because they haven't been exposed to the right ideas yet.  Which would be different from "insane", which is more about irrevocably irrational people.

I like this word, because there isn't the tone of accusation we find in "insane". This neutrality makes it easier to say that we can do something about it. Insanity should be eradicated like vermin. Unsanty on the other hand can be fixed.

So, do you think this word, "Unsanity" might be worth using?