Yes. I am titling this blog entry with “THAT” word, because I need your attention please.
First, bear in mind that I use that word to make you sit up and take notice about what I want to talk about.
I am not using that word to insult, degrade, belittle, compare, or humiliate. You may read about that distinction of language usage HERE.
Second, I will give you one chance when you use that word to insult, degrade, belittle, compare, or humiliate. Then I will politely, calmly, and privately pull you aside and explain to you why it is not a good word choice.
I give you that chance because I realize that we have become numb to the words we use and we don’t always think of the further implications or origins. I get that language is living and evolves and grows and changes.
On Facebook yesterday I privately messaged one of my FB “friends” that his caption under his sisters picture was inappropriate and incredibly offensive as he stated she “Wasn’t as retarded as she looked”. I gently explained as the mother of a severe special needs child, it was wrong.
His response was two fold:
1. He was not insulting my child but poking fun at his sister.
2. The word has been in the OED since 1910.
oh. I see. So her making a funny face and being called retarded is ok. Because yeah– my child never makes that face (uncontrollably, by the way) and you didn’t mean ANY offense to special needs kids ANYWhere……
except that you obviously used it to poke fun, insult, degrade, compare, and/or humiliate your sister (even in “good fun”)
Second, there are loooooooooooots of words in the OED.
171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. To this may be added around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries. So just because it’s IN THE DICTIONARY, doesn’t mean that is a “good word” to use.
I tell you what– THIS WORD is in the dictionary too.
Wanna use THAT?
Of course you don’t. Because it’s wrong and unacceptable.
That is the way we have to start thinking about the word I used in the title of this blog.
AND, if we are going by the standard of “oh hey, it’s in the dictionary….”
CHECK THIS OUT:
The Almighty Oxford English Dictionary FIRST defines it as a modifier:
Delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment: his progress was retarded by his limp
INFORMAL , OFFENSIVE
as a noun:
A mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse).
Oh hey. CHECK THAT OUT!!
OED specifically stated that it is OFFENSIVE and a TERM OF ABUSE.
As this FB “friend” puffed himself up and tried to show me how “smart” he was I just said:
And blocked is ignorant ass.
So, lets save the word “retard” for its use solely as a transitive verb.
Oh, and if you are looking for words for describe my son– or other “special needs” persons?
Here are a few: