TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Mar 12 2011: Ah yes, the Gifted Stigma. "Gifted" isn't a bad word, but hypothetically if it were, I'd go with "A Gifted", or "Gifteds" to refer to those who actually are Intellectually Gifted Individuals.

    Cop out answer? Well, I don't feel that the word Gifted in it's current definition and lexicon will be evolving any time soon. I like "A Gifted" because it challenges those who will say it's grammatically incorrect, yet it still has the meaning and essence of defining Giftedness within it.

    Why is this topic even an issue? Stigma. Basically, Everyone is Gifted! Some people open the package earlier than others! Yay! Ugh. But, is everyone A Gifted? A Gifted, meaning An Intellectually Gifted Individual? No. In fact, Gifteds share the same things with Gifteds whether they have been labelled Gifted or not. So labels are not the be all end all with the Gifted nature. But it does help when trying to affix a name to a common experience.

    And just for clarification, Gifted Program, Gifted School, Gifted Label ≠ (necessarily) Gifted, Intellectually
    Gifted. Kids fall through cracks, parenthood politics get in the way, adolescents want to forget about it, government, economy, any factor can factor in.

    Then young adults grow up, and wonder what the fuck is wrong with them. Like this guy! What is underrated in the discussion of Gifted, is the mis-diagnosis of Gifted. Certain things can actually be attributed to Giftedness, yet is mis-diagnosed as something else. Which is why it's important to keep the term Gifted, because we need a term to revolve around, an umbrella to fall under.

    It is what it is, and we have to deal with it...

    Just to add a little context to what I am trying to get at,

    http://search.twitter.com/search?q=gifted And that's only 4 days worth of thoughts!

    More context: http://twitter.com/THE_REAL_GIFTED/favorites

    Shameless self promo: http://twitter.com/THE_REAL_GIFTED/

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.