101 Words I Don't Use
Copyright 2016 by Paul Niquette.  All rights reserved.
crazy adj.
a :  full of cracks or flaws :  unsound <they were very crazy, wretched cabins Charles Dickens> b :  crooked, askew  2 a :  mad, insane <yelling like a crazy man> b (1) :  impractical <a crazy plan> (2) :  erratic <crazy drivers> c :  being out of the ordinary :  unusual <a taste for crazy hats> 3 a :  distracted with desire or excitement <a thrill-crazy mob> b :  absurdly fond :  infatuated <he's crazy about the girl> c :  passionately preoccupied :  obsessed <crazy about boats>
Here is a word that we really need: [a] to signify an idea that is not at all sensible or [b] to describe a person who is mentally ill.  It sure has become worn out through over-use in casual realms.  But that's not my problem with crazy
Heck, there are at least three-dozen informal synonyms...

apeshit, batty, berserk, bonkers, cracked, crackpot, cuckoo, dippy, disturbed, ditzy, dotty, flipped out, foolish, freaky, gaga, goofy, idiotic, kooky, looney, loopy, nuts, nutty, screwball, screw-loose, screwy, silly, strange, touched, unglued, wacko, wacky, weird.

...leaving lots of solemn terms for psychiatric diagnosticians...

bipolar, brainsick, delirious, deluded, demented, deranged, erratic, insane, lunatic, mad, maniacal, manic, mental, moronic, neurotic, psychotic, raving, schizophrenic, sick, unbalanced, unhinged, unsound.

No, my problem is that crazy has been appropriated by people to explain the most dreadful behaviors of high-level political figures; the presidential election of 2016 may be the most extreme example. 

The appropriate terminology has to do with badness not madness...

atrocious, beastly, calamitous, corrupt, damnable, depraved, destructive, disastrous, execrable, foul, harmful, hateful, heinous, hideous, iniquitous, injurious, loathsome, low, maleficent, malevolent, malicious, malignant, nefarious, obscene, offensive, pernicious, poisonous, rancorous, reprobate, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, scandalous, spiteful, stinking, unpleasant, unpropitious, vicious, vile, villainous, wicked, wrathful, wrong-headed.

Indeed, sixty-two years earlier, the matter was firmly addressed in Section 7.3 of the ethics principles published by the APA...

On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.

Since psychiatrists are not supposed to diagnose brain conditions from afar, I sure won't. 

101 Words
Table of Contents