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Is "ret@rded" offensive?(10 posts)

Is "ret@rded" offensive?Jusme
Nov 18, 2003 1:36 PM
I was watching a bit of the 80's strikes bck on VH-1 and they were talking about the show "LA Law".

One of the commentators said "My favorite character was the ret@rded man". They bleeped out the word ret@rded.

Am I ret@rded or is this ridiculous?

Also, does anyone know what the rules are for what you can say on TV? Watching a movie on cable the other day, the word "sh*t" got edited out, but "@ss" and "G-D" were flying like crazy.

That seems ret@rded to me.
Moderator liberties takenDougSloan
Nov 18, 2003 1:42 PM
Sorry, I thought that would add something to your point. :-)

No, I don't think it's offensive, if it's not used as an insult.

Doug
Isn't "mentally challenged" the PC term these days? (nm)ColnagoFE
Nov 18, 2003 1:58 PM
in a way...mohair_chair
Nov 18, 2003 2:36 PM
I think "retarded" used to be a catch-all term used to describe all kinds of afflictions, because it was all we had. I think to some extent it's not used anymore because we have more accurate terms. So you won't usually hear "that kid is retarded" anymore. You're more likely to hear something like "that kid is autistic," for example.

I don't hear it much today, except whenever Britney Spears spouts off. People and things that piss her off are always "retarded."
re: Is "ret@rded" offensive?jtolleson
Nov 18, 2003 2:37 PM
It is so hard to keep up with the times. Honestly, the term doesn't offend me at all, and that saying about "arguing on the internet is like Special Olympics" has indeed had me in a politically-incorrect chuckle.

But then again, I don't have any developmentally disabled loved ones, and it may just be that my lot in life has not sensitized me to it. If others are offended, I refrain.

Funny, that all the term means is a lack of adult intellectual capacity. We certainly don't hesitate to use "stupid," "insipid" or "moronic" and no one gets offended. But because it is also a now antiquated name for an actual type of disability, I guess it is handled more gingerly than other terms which reference brain development.

Hard to figure.
More from the un-pc vault...shawndoggy
Nov 18, 2003 3:04 PM
Growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, it was common playground slang to call something "gay." Not that the thing had any particular relationship with homosexuality, just that it sucked. School dances were gay, assemblies were gay, girls' birthday parties were gay. Different from identifying a person as gay too. My wife tells me this is no longer acceptable language.

As a kid we'd call someone who does dumb stuff a "retard." (REE-tard) [akin to dumba$$, idiot, etc.] I'm pretty certain that was un-pc at the time. My wife tells me this is no longer acceptable language either. Actually heard a fellow (young) lawyer call a state filing requirement "retarded" the other day, and it did sound a bit out of place in a professional setting.

What I want to know is when is the amputee lobby going to confront the rabid use of the term "lame" in a derrogatory context?

Remember, that what slang taketh away, it can also giveth. Reference the rebirth of "phat" as a complement. Frequent diners at the Claim Jumper must be stoked on that. (Ooops, I think I may have just been condescending to phat... err fat... people.)
Once and for all.eyebob
Nov 18, 2003 3:16 PM
It's pronounced Ree-taaah-did. Good lord, don't you speak proper (New Hampshire/Mass.) English???

BT
"Lame" and other fair game.czardonic
Nov 18, 2003 3:32 PM
The adjective "lame" doesn't really have anything to do with missing limbs. It designates something as weak or ineffectual and does not, as far as I know, have a non-derrogatory meaning for the "amputee lobby" to rally in defense of.

Of course, "retarded" also has a specific meaning and I think that its use is fair game in any context as long as it is used accurately. I can't think of any context in which a rule can be accurately described as "retarded", so I would agree that such a use is indeed out of place.

In addition to cases of misuse (especially intentional hyperbole), I think that these terms cross the line into offensiveness when they are reductive. To call a person a "retard" is to reduce them to a particularly unfortunate and blameless feature of their being.
My next-cube-neighbor labeled a stapler retarded128
Nov 19, 2003 6:00 AM
because it never worked properly but was never discarded, and literally put a note on it "retarded stapler" the local 'kin'tahd took offense, and confronted him about it.

That the object was inanimate emerged as the predominant issue. No resolution followed and they no longer speak.(Book title: The Human Stapler) What I found curious was the fact the offended is also a vocal devotee of Ayn Rand-ism. I don't think she saw the broad vista of possability there. I let it go.

As I see it, retard is a musical instruction to slow down, so I spose b/f science diagnosed afflictions this was a catch all term. To be offended by it should be reserved for when it is used to offend the similarly, clinically afflicted, but staplers and orchestras must at times, safley be described as retarded.

PCism is deconstructionism gone linguistic. Like corporate catch phrse speak, we will all soon be swimming in a sea of decentered metaphore, morred to nothing but a thum-pressed watermellon seed. There is merit to changing consciousness through language, though. And I assert 'mentally challened' is much better but once it becomes an insult, we'll go back to retarded. Child: "My great grandfather was a negro, my grandfather was colored, my dad was black. I wonder what I'll be."

I think I've a swirl of influenza as 'We Are DEVO' springs to mind.
Brilliant! (nm)eyebob
Nov 19, 2003 3:54 PM