On the use of the word "retard"

First of all, I blame John Stewart for the fact that I use the word “retard” way too much now. Many people, when you use that word, think of people with mental disabilities. You shouldn’t. While the word “retard”, interpreted literally, is probably accurate in many ways when applied to some people with mental disabilities, the word is not and cannot be used in that way. It is a harmful word that I would never, ever use in regards to people who have mental or learning disabilities.

I’m justifying, here, that I am not comparing people to people with disabilities. I’d define the word, in this slang context, to mean people with ridiculously faulty logic.

To use it in a sentence, when I say that Tony Snow, for example, is a complete fucking retard, what I mean is, his high-suction ass-kissing ability, his blatant mischaracterization of facts, his evasive and misleading statements and his inane word choices reveal a man with his head so far up his ass that it is actually probably a compliment to simply refer to his rather lagging development!

Yes, this is all very snide and condescending. My point is, as I felt myself slipping into using the word retard (thanks, again, to John Stewart) I thought about it in terms of whether it was PC or not, and I came to the conclusion that I’m OK. But I still worry about it, ’cause my goal is to offend only those whom I intend to offend.

Your thoughts?

On the use of the word "retard"

5 thoughts on “On the use of the word "retard"

  1. bsherwood says:

    I forgot to list acceptable uses.

    Tony Snow is a complete Fucktard. True, easy to understand and straight to the point.

    George Bush is a Fucktard. An understatement, however still true and to the point.


  2. bsherwood says:

    I have stumbled accross a unique and possibly regional variation of the word “retard”….if it has not already gone “national” it is about to….
    the use of the word “retard” should be replaced with the new and improved


    thank you


  3. Interesting comment.

    Yeah, first of all, I have no idea about the difference between mental disabilities, mental disorders, learning disabilities, etc. I’m fairly ignorant on all those subjects.

    Whether the word “nigger” and the word “retard’ represent similar historical types of abuse, I can’t say. It does seem like there are many similarities.

    All in all, it’s probably a word better left out of one’s vocabulary. A lot of derogatory words, though, have been used to refer to people with low IQ’s e.g. moron, idiot, retard. I could barely blog at all if all these words were considered harmful.


  4. Timmy777 says:

    Prior to the 70’s the term for ‘African American’s’ was ‘negro’ which was Spanish for Black, in latin it was ‘niger’. At the same time people with IQ’s below 70 were described as those with ‘Mental Retardation’. With ‘retard’, and ‘niger’ being the derogatory name for both groups they underwent changes. African Americans were much more well organized, represented and outspoken. People with learning disabilities were never officially included in the ‘mental retardation’ group, some had IQ’s either above or below average but, just learned slightly differently from the other 97% of the population so were placed in ‘special ed’ groups and ridiculed. This group included quite a few people thought to include people such as Albert Einsteien, Galileo, Thomas Edison, Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, John F. Kennedy, Winston Chruchill… Neither group would include those afflicted with mental disorder’s such as Nobel Prize winner John Nash who suffered from Schizophrenia. It seems the ‘niger’s’ had better, more organized, well spoken leaders as did the ‘retards’. No one feared the backlash from ‘Corky’ as much as they did from say ‘Dr. King’. I certainly don’t mean to say this as to try and make you feel bad as ‘retard’ has seemed to have made it’s way into ‘acceptable’ language but, you asked for peoples thoughts on the matter. (my personal appologies to Mr. Christopher Burke in advance who played ‘Corky’ in ‘life goes on’ and serves as an advocate for those with downs syndrome http://www.chrisburke.org/ )


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