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If 'gifted' is a bad word, what term can we use to describe the highly intelligent and creative members of our societies?

The word 'gifted', technically meaning intellectual giftedness, has become a terribly misused term.

'GIfted' has been used to refer to anything from any kind of elitist, socially challenged group of people, to a type of characteristic of a person or object that varies even slightly from the norm.

Many intellectually gifted people refuse to attend gifted programs in their local schools because they don't want to be labeled with something so many people think to mean 'better than others'. Then they don't get the help or varied learning experiences they need to make the most of their abilities, and therefore in essence 'waste' their talents and skills that could so definitely be used by the world.

So what word can we use for the 'learning enabled' individuals so that they can feel confident in their strengths and abilities but still get the help they need? What kind of phrase can be used to refer to the gifted that everyone will find acceptable and satisfactory?


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    Mar 9 2011: In his book “Enjoying the Gift of Being Uncommon,” Willem Kuipers uses the term eXtra intelligent (Xi) - which, as Linda Silverman notes in her Foreword, can also stand for eXtra intense. See more in my post The Gift of Being Uncommon
    • Mar 12 2011: Then it seems natural that we should now refer to all Gifted Individuals as "X-Men", and rename all gifted programs, The Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.

      Sorry that was an X-Men joke, excuse the off the wall humour typical with Gifteds.

      But actually, having a reference to the letter X seems cool / something that would help fight the Gifted Stigma.

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