Thursday, September 30, 2010

He's Retarded

When I was a kid, the term "retarded" wasn't taboo, and our family used it freely. We used it to describe silly behavior and it was almost a term of endearment. Well, my mom was grocery shopping with 3 small children in tow. The checker had the bagger help us to the car with our purchase. As the parking lot attendant pushed the cart toward our car, my little brother was making this shrill chirping noise with his mouth. He practiced it habitually, just as most children learn to whistle. He also was making a point to stop and kick each loose rock in the pavement. The clerk seemed distracted by this behavior, so my sister dismissed her concern, by saying, "Don't mind him. He's retarded." The lady, thinking that my brother had some severe birth defect or mental illness, simply said, "Oh" and was careful not to stare. My mom was too embarrassed to correct the mistake.

It is amazing how politically incorrect the word has become. In fact, I noticed that while posting on a forum that the word was bleeped out as if it were a curse word. I was simply stating that salt retards the growth of mold, but the filter caught it and marked it "r*&%#)@."


  1. Well that's just retarded!

    Everyone takes things so personally. I wish people would lighten up.

  2. It's not about taking things so personally. It's about asking for a little decency for the most vulnerable among us. Do you use the N word? what about other slurs? Probably not yet you took the time to defend the use of the word retard. No one is stopping you from using a word that people with special needs have asked you not to use. Why isn't that enough? You have the right to use the word retard, but caution, using it may alter people's opinion of you.

  3. I think that in general, people should be careful to use their words with more discretion. But listeners should be more attentive to the intended meaning, and not get stuck on particular words.


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