Is ‘retarded’ an offensive word?

In my mind, no. There’s a difference between ‘developmentally disabled’ or ‘mentally handicapped’ (for people who have Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, etc.) and ‘retarded’ (for people who are stupid). But, because I know and understand sensitivities around the term, I would never use the word ‘retarded’ around developmentally disabled people. But in other company, I freely use the term ‘retarded’ (and ‘barely-functional retard’) in reference to:

  • Creationists
  • Bible-beaters
  • Hypocritical politicians
  • People obsessed with terrorism, who have never lived in or even visited places that would ever be considered targets for terrorism
  • People with horribly misplaced priorities
  • sheeple – mindless drones who are carbon copies of everyone else around them
  • rich brats who try to sound ghetto
  • people who cackle into their cellphones while weaving in and out of their lane while driving
  • annoying narcissists who are convinced that the entire universe revolves around them and their petty concerns
  • People who can’t grasp things that your average kindergartener can
  • pretty much everyone lampooned on South Park

For these sorts of people, the term captures my sentiments toward them like no other.

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  1. I truly applaud the fact that you are even willing to discuss this.
    I’m the mom of a special needs child. Before she was born I truly don’t think I would think twice when I heard the word retarded. Now it gives me a fever.
    I personally find the word demeaning to people with special needs. My daughter might have a cognitive impairment but she’s not stupid, yet according to medical doctors, she is mildly retarded. So when she hears someone say “that’s retarded” or “you’re a retard” it’s very painful.
    I truly wouldn’t want to take away your right to use the word. But for people involved in the special needs word it’s an extremely hurtful word. You don’t have to have a family member with special needs to know that slurs and stereotypes hurt. So, you wouldn’t want to hurt someone by not saying it to their face, yet just hearing the word on television or in a movie (Get Smart, Speed Racer, Tropic Thunder) causes great pain.
    Most people wouldn’t think of saying the N word or calling someone a faggot. For whatever reason, retard still gets a pass.
    I appreciate your bringing it up and for hearing one mom’s opinion on the matter.

    Comment by HShore — July 11, 2008 @ 2:41 pm

  2. Thank you HShore. I can easily imagine how you feel that way. I would never, ever use the word in reference to a person with special needs. Ever. I really reserve it for non-special needs people who are stupid because of intellectual laziness. But I hate it when people throw around the “that’s so gay” and “he’s a fag”, so point very much taken.

    Comment by JM — July 11, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

  3. I think we all need greater awareness. It should not be used in public. For example, standing in a grocery checkout line and the checker says something like “I’m so retarded sometimes”, etc. She/he has no way of knowing if anyone in earshot has a loved one who, in an earlier day, would have been classified as “retarded”. Perhaps, when those of us who remember that pain-filled connotation (as with “gay” also), have disappeared, the new lexicons will be the only reminders that these words used to be derogatory.

    Comment by ControlsFreak — September 6, 2008 @ 7:00 am

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  5. I freely use the term ‘retarded’ in reference to:

    – Evolutionists

    Comment by Andy — February 2, 2009 @ 2:32 am

  6. … Seriously?

    It is what it is, shit happens. I have family members who are retarded, some from birth, some after the fact, I have friends and family who are gay. This does not stop me from using words such as retarded, and faggot. Hell I’ll call a gay person a faggot in a joking manner. Words are what you make them, and people nowadays just wait for people to say things they can bitch about. Everybody is overly sensitive, and way too serious. Don’t have a heart attack over something so stupid. Seriously, I have the deepest sympathy for your child and I bet their a great kid, but in no way am I trying to mean offense, they are retarded.

    Retardation is a definition for generalized, triarchic disorder, characterized by subaverage cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors with onset before the age of 18 according to wikipedia. It was made offensive by parents like yourself, who can’t face reality.

    Each year that passes there is another word that is not socially accepted, just calm down people and stop caring so much about what other people say and think.

    Comment by Ryan — February 12, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

  7. I love when people like Ryan say to calm down about words that offend some and not others. Bet he was first in line to protest the cartoon in the New York Post. Unfortunately you don’t get to decide by just saying calm down, or can’t you take a joke, or don’t be so sensitive. Isn’t it enough to be able to step back, listen to what the people feeling the hurt has to say and respect their wishes. Is it really such a big deal not to use the word retard or retarded?

    Comment by HShore — April 18, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

  8. you should be considerate of other peoples feelings. If it is a name that you would not want to be called, don’t call anyone else it.

    Comment by JayRest — April 27, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

  9. So… you had a semi-interesting point about sensitivity and offense, but you turned it into a hate rant against theology? Talk about messed up priorities.

    Comment by Sam — May 17, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

  10. Sam: Are you capable of reading? Or do you see only what you want to see?

    Comment by JM — May 18, 2009 @ 7:34 am

  11. I use the word retard all the time. It is no big deal. You are what you are..if that is retarded so be it.

    Comment by Reggie — November 24, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  12. Retarded as a description of one’s cognitive and adaptive functioning is a clinical diagnosis that can be made only by a psychologist. In that respect, the term is neutral and can be used to convey a great deal of information very quickly such as: IQ score range, Adaptive skills, level of care needs, etc. There are several levels Mental Retardation, each defines a specific set of disabiltiies.

    In the past words such as Moron, Feeble-Minded, etc. were also used as clinical diagnostic terms. Those terms fell out of fashion, and modernly we are seeing our present diagnostic wording fall out of fashion.

    Ultimately, if you choose to refer to someone as Retarded, I would hope that you would have the clinical training and sensitivity to understand what the word conveys diagnostically. Any other use of the term is not only incorrect, but it sheds light on how little the user of the word understands it.

    Comment by Pablo — January 26, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  13. A huge number of Bible believers are Ph.Ds. So, why would you call them retarded?

    Comment by FAIRTV — February 5, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  14. A retard is any person whose IQ is below 70. People within the 50-69 range are classified as mildly retarded or “morons”. Those who fall in the 35-49 range are moderately retarded. Anyone with with an IQ between 34 and 20 is severely retarded. “Imbecile” is a catch-all term for moderately to severely retarded people. The poor, sub-human degenerates who find themselves with an IQ below 20 would be classified as profoundly retarded, or idiots. Ironically, the term “retarded” was used as a euphemism for “moron”, “imbecile” and “idiot”. Now it seems even this historically PC word isn’t enough for some people, who are actually trying to ban it. I personally like the term, because although it is historically neutral, over the years it has gained a strong emotional charge, hece the movement to ban it, and few words convey the concept of stupidity more forcefully than it. As a side-note, although 70 is the cut-off point, people within the 70-80 range are often considered border-line retards. Apologies for any offense caused. What is, is.

    Comment by Stickler — February 14, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

  15. Hey thanks for article and HShore’s comment. My opinion is a lot like that of the author’s. I was wondering if it’s ok to use it in one of my articles. After reaing HShore’s comment, I have decided not to use it.

    Comment by Yoda — March 3, 2010 @ 6:33 am

  16. thank you to everyone who shares the same opinion as i do. I work with children and teenagers and even adult with special needs. i hate the r-word with a strong passion. it is ridiculous and shallow for people to defend and try and justify the use of the word, because of their “freedom of speech.” im a fan of respect for all people. Also, just because you “can” use a word, that doesn’t mean that you should. with freedom of speech comes a responsibility. and i understand completely when people say they aren’t referring to people with disabilities, but that doesn’t make the word any less offensive. just take into consideration that people can hear you, even when you don’t mean it in a derogatory sense, they still hurt other people. thanks and i hope you do think this through.

    Comment by Molly — April 2, 2010 @ 6:17 am

  17. I live in the US. It is my belief that people are entitled to speak how they will. That means that all of the people above that feel that others should speak how they wish and to “feel for others” are all narrow minded tyrants that believe that everyone should think and speak how they wish. Now, they are free to have their opinions, and spout their drivel, but I have the freedom also to say what I think about their ideas. So, continue to spout your drivel as you see fit, but the first person that tries to force me to think in a certain way is going to have more than words to contend with.

    Comment by Shawn — April 20, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  18. I would like to point out that there is a difference between calling someone a Faggot/Nigger and calling somebody retarded.

    Faggot is a word designed specifically as a derogatory term for people who are gay just like using the word gay in a derogatory term is intentionally taking a word that means something completely different and using it to insult someone. I don’t think I need to run through the same explanation with Nigger.

    As for “retarded” it has a completely different meaning which has already been explained by other users. When somebody insults someone/something by referring to it as retarded they are using the original meaning of the word which refers to a level of intelligence and are not using it out of context. The argument you are employing is equivalent to the argument that “Stupid” should not be used as a derogatory term (as if it has any other use) because it is offensive to stupid people.

    The only reason that the word “retard” is offensive is because people like you don’t make a distinction between “retard” as a medical label and “retard” as a statement of intelligence.

    If I were you I would spend my time protesting the use of the word “retard” to describe your family members condition as opposed to other terms like “mentally challenged”. As you have already noted your child may be mentally challenged but they are by no means stupid so maybe you should be more angry at the people who have named your child’s/family member’s condition a word that means essentially the same thing as stupid.

    Comment by RandomGuy — May 24, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

  19. […] […]

    Pingback by Retarded, retarded, retarded. - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum — June 12, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  20. I don’t find retarded to be any more offensive towards mentally challenged people than dumb to be towards people physically incapable of speaking.

    Comment by Fred — July 6, 2010 @ 7:42 am

  21. The problem with this parade of euphemisms is that the euphemism often technically applies to many other things besides what it is euphemizing. “Developmentally disabled” could technically refer to anything that has to do with development. So a midget would be developmentally disabled because he has a disability in the development of his height, even if his IQ is through the roof.

    “Mentally handicapped” also has this problem to a less extent. You could say someone who is insane is mentally handicapped even though their problem isn’t low intelligence and some mentally ill people have high IQs.

    Older phrases like “mentally challenged” had the same defect only worse. You could say someone who is trying to solve a crossword puzzle and is having a hard time is being “mentally challenged” and youre technically correct.

    Strangely “retarded” short for “mentally retarded” is the most literal, logic phrase to use to describe the ailment. The person is literally “retarded” mentally. “Retarded” means held back. Their mind’s growth is “held back” relative to others. The irony is “retarded” was a euphemism. Before “retarded” the words “moron”, “idiot”, and “imbecile” were used as actual technical, scientific words for people of below average intelligence, the word being used depending on the range you fell into. And now today “moron” isn’t even a formal word anymore, its turned into slang. I suppose it make sense that the same thing is happening to the word “retarded”. A few generations from now it won’t even cross people’s minds that “retarded” is anything but a slang term for “stupid”. Nobody will wonder if its offensive because people won’t associate the term with people who have low IQs.

    Comment by Armr — July 24, 2010 @ 12:07 am

  22. The word “challenged” as in mentally challenged is misleading. To say someone is challenged is to acknowledge an obsticle that can be overcome, hence it is a challenge. Someone with an IQ of 55 isn’t going to become an intellectual by overcomming challenges, he is simply going to be retarded, because his learning ability is retarded.

    Look, a person born retarded is retarded. Just like a person born blind is “blind”, or a person born deaf is “deaf.” Blind and deaf arent meant to be derogatory, and neither is retard. Sure, they can be used that way, ie: “What are you man, blind?” , “Hello! I’m talking to you. Are you deaf?” Just like “What are you, retarded?” These phrases are meant to be derogatory to the individual the speaker is speaking too, not the entire gambit of those who are blind, deaf, or retarded. It’s all about context.

    Comment by Bill — October 10, 2010 @ 4:02 am

  23. well sorry but you may as well just freely say niger

    Comment by dj — November 9, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

  24. I made a comment today about my friend looking “retarded” today on the train and some random woman decided to approach me and verbally attack me for saying the word. What i don’t understand is why she feels the need to come up to me and yell at me for my word choice. Imagine if people just did that to each other all the time: approach others because they don’t agree with what others are saying. If you hear someone say the word retard, or any other ‘offensive’ word, please brush it off.

    Comment by Melissa — November 22, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

  25. The main problem isn’t the actual word whether it’s retard, spastic, special etc. but the fact that you are using mental illness and disabilities as an insult and to be equivalent to be generally stupid.

    It must be very difficult for people who care for those who do have these problems either from birth or by injury and some will spend years of their lives dedicated to someone who may never even realise they exist. I think the least those of us lucky enough not to be directly involved with being carers or sufferers is to not use the term as an insult.

    No-one chooses to be mentally disabled and it is not equivalent to stupidity. Someone with no motor functions may still be able to think clearly be highly intelligent but are unable to communicate this clearly and are no way the same someone who manages to lock their keys inside their car.

    It is essentially the equivalent of calling a fat person an amputee, nonsensical and not funny.

    Comment by d — December 6, 2010 @ 8:14 am

  26. first of people are retarded proven fact look outside odds are you’ll see one running around for some one to tell me not to use a word because it offends them is stupid honestly if someone came up to me and said don’t use that word i would reply I’m sorry you must be retarded if your not challenged in some way shut the fuck up

    Comment by SMD — March 19, 2011 @ 1:21 am

  27. What a retarded question. I mean really gay. jeez, people get so hung up on whether to be offended or whether someone tried to slight them that they’re all missing the point. Someone can only hurt you with words if you let them hurt you. That’s right boys and girls, you need to grow up and quit being offended by words. Now If I took my S.U.V. and ran you over, I’d say you had a case to be a little tweaked. But calling you retarded? Please, just say I’m retarded back and be donewith it. There’s not a need in the world to waste your feelings on someone with a short vocabulary.

    Comment by Vickey Stutters — June 15, 2011 @ 5:31 am

  28. To the OP, using the word at all just perpetuates its use. I’m not saying you can’t just that more enlightened people don’t.
    Ryan the word is made offensive by people who use it as an insult, I’m assuming people like you.
    Reggie thats very big of you. But not all developmentally disabled people can take the term so lightly, a lot of them suffer bullying and harassment and ridicule, so you can’t just say because its not offensive to you personally its a-ok.
    Stickler referring to someone as subhuman reveals a lot more about yourself than anything
    Shawn nobody is telling you what you can or cannot say, the discussion is just about whether or not the word is offensive. I would urge you not to use the word, and consider the feelings of others, but ultimately its up to you how you behave.
    Randomguy unless you yourself are ‘retarded’ its not up to you whether the word is offensive. Take it from the people here who have family members etc. The medical term is out of use now, no doctors would apply the term to a patient. As for a statement of intelligence, why can’t you just use stupid, idiot, moron, fool etc? “you should be more angry at the people who have named your child’s/family member’s condition a word that means essentially the same thing as stupid” facepalm
    Fred I agree, both are offensive.
    Armr you may need to ‘dumb that down’ a little to explain it to the develomentally challenged kids who are being bullied at school to let them know why its okay that people call them retards. And last time I checked having a low IQ did mean you were stupid. Anyway the good news is only another 40 or so years (developmentally challenged people have shorter lifespans on avergae) to wait and the offensive term will be okay.. 🙂
    Bill blind and deaf are specific conditions, ‘retard’ is a catch-all term that can mean anything from downs syndrome right through to autism, as such it has a lot of negative connotations. Even dyslexia could be construed as a ‘mental retardation’. Blind people do not find the term blind offensive, the term retard IS offensive however.
    Melissa while I don’t agree with her actually shouting at you, in a public space she had every right to question your choice of words. If you said the n word or faggot for example don’t you expect you’d be criticised for it? Well disabled people are no less vulnerable or sensitive a group, so have some consideration. Equally if I said soemthing sexist in your presence I expect you’d (rightly) respond to me. If you need to say retard so depserately store them all up till you get home and say it 100 times over each night to feel better about yourself.
    SMD please learn to write properly before insulting others. lesson 1, punctuation
    Vickey you stupid bitch, only a woman could come out with something so retarded, in fact you probably run people over every day because women can’t drive for shit isn’t that right you cunt? Don’t let that hurt your feelings now, they’re just words! 😀 On a serious note though, someone who has the mental age of 9 can’t just ‘grow up’ and deal with it as an adult would.

    Comment by Me — July 6, 2011 @ 11:34 am

  29. I do not believe the term “retard” should be considered a derogatory slam again people with disabilities anymore. Here is the logic behind my argument:

    I refuse to use words like “n*gger” or “gay” in derogatory ways because there are people who use such terms as identifiers for themselves, so for me to use the term negatively means that I am being derogatory towards them. However, I do not know of ANY mentally disabled people, or a parent of a mentally disabled person who identifies themselves or their child with the term “retard”. Instead they might say that they are “mentally disabled” or “developmentally disabled” or “learning disabled” or use their proper diagnosis name such as having Downs Syndrome or Autism.

    I understand that “mentally retarded” is still a term used as part of a diagnosis for certain mental handicaps, but my point of contention is with the fact that the term is no longer used as an IDENTIFIER, it is merely used as a descriptor of capabilities.

    Since it is no longer used as an identifier it should not be considered derogatory. This is similar to the way “idiot” and “imbecile” used to be identifiers for the mentally disabled, and “dumb” used to identify speech impaired people, but as everyone stopped using those terms as identifiers they stopped being considered offensive to people with disabilities.

    Comment by Mich — September 1, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  30. After having read this tread I noticed a lot of bleeding hearts asking others to think about the feeling they might be hurting by using “retarded” to describe (usually negatively) someone whose actions were not up to the viewers standards. As it has been told the definition of the word is a professionally neutral term for extraordinary mental capabilities that has been twisted by the ignorant to be insulting and propagated by said bleeding hearts to only be accepted as offensive. However, if feelings are what we are concerned, then consider those of the speaker.

    Example: I used the phrase “socially-retarded” in class yesterday and was met with disapproval, when all I meant was that the “figurative” person I was describing lacked social experience. I guess I could have said that but what a mouthful and that’s why we have adjectives to save time. Would you be less insulted if I said you were “intellectually inferior?” The negative connotation is the same. It truly is the intentions of the speaker that denote if its meant insultingly or not. So I felt insulted that those in my class immediately thought I was trying to be offensive, but no one there took my feeling into consideration.

    I used the word extraordinary earlier to illustrate my point. From my experience I would imagine that most of you correlate that word with meaning “above average”, but actually defined as meaning “out-of-the-ordinary”, extra-ordinary, and could technically go either way depending on what you mean be ordinary. Not all words lose their meaning to derogatory uses, some go the other way and become exclamations of brilliance when that’s not what they really mean. “Special” is another one that is losing this battle. Defined as being particular or distinct most use it as to describe their loved ones, but now that it has become associated with describing this “particular” group of people it to has started a downward spiral.

    To me this only proves that jerks will be jerks no matter what words they choose to use. You can’t combat offensive language. It is impossible to single out a word as being always truly insulting.

    Example; Fuck me! Used as an exclamation of disappointment. Fuck you!! Used to express dissatisfaction in another. Americanized from the German word meaning “to strike with a stick.” “I’m going to fuck you up.” or “I’m fucked up.” Instead how about; “I’m going to hit you with a blunt object repeatedly.” or “I feel as though I have been hit repeatedly with a blunt object.”

    My point is, that wasting your energy arguing rather a word is only ever offensive is ridiculous and that trying to “ban” a word based on your selfish definitions is wrong and moreover the assumptions that those who do use it are only trying to be insulting is what is the true offense.

    Your hurt feelings are a product of your inability to comprehend and understand that not everyone is not out to get you and your loved ones. You cause your own problems when it comes to language and word uses and create your own heart-ache by constantly reminding yourself that you take offense to it by engaging in attempts to remove them from the arbitrary world around you. One could comment that you are “comprehensively-retarded.”

    I wouldn’t say “grow-up”, but perhaps you should “grow-out”, out of the habit of reminding yourself that you hate something. Even “hate” has lost its true meaning, but I won’t go into it.

    Lastly to those that used “n-word” instead of “nigger”, but used “faggot” instead of “f-word” I say to you that you either need to believe that words are just words or not. If you feel bad about using “nigger” but not “faggot” then that kinda shows where your values lie as far as feelings towards those groups. Perhaps you don’t have any problems with either group, but it seems you wanted to spare the feeling of one over the other.

    Comment by A Smith — September 8, 2011 @ 9:00 pm

  31. “retarded” is not just used for the mental disability. To be retarded is to be held back or stunted, and it applies to a mental condition, but also applies to a physical condition. you could “retard” a machine by jamming it. It’s really a stolen term, now used only for a mental condition.

    Comment by A D — January 23, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

  32. the problem appears to be that some people have used a word that means a developmental disability, an intellectual or cognitive impairment, to mean stupid. When people say “He’s a retard” it’s saying in a derogative way that He is like someone who is intellectually impaired, and at the same time saying that someone with an intellectual impairment is stupid.
    You can’t not use the expression ” He is a retard” without it being an attempt to insult those with intellectual impairments.
    But the reality is those who use the term are ignorant, another way of saying they are stupid .I think the word stupid can be legitamately used at times, as in I did a really stupid thing today, I grabbed an electrical wire while my hands were wet. That is stupid, not retarded.

    Comment by Eva June — February 4, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

  33. Yes, it is.

    Comment by EUROPE FTW!!! — April 5, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  34. While I do agree that retard is on par with other derogatory words, people do not have the right to not have their feelings hurt. Just because someone calls me a chink dosen’t mean that I have to roast them and put them on blast. My feelings are “so what”? If you want to be an ignorant moron, so be it! People who use those words aren’t worth your time anyway.

    Comment by Matt M — June 25, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

  35. Me you are a hypocrite. You easily called someone a stupid bitch but it’ taboo to say ‘retarded’?
    Secondly, how would you like it if someone butted into your conversation? It was not in that woman’s place to tell people what to say and do. She is fucking stupid and so are you.

    Comment by Liz — October 15, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  36. Crap … this garbage is so retarded … wait, that “objectifies some people” … ok, this is so dumb … wait, that objectifies those who cannot speak … ok, um .. this garbage is so stupid … wait, that references people that don’t get an education, it isn’t their fault they are stupid, it’s just how they are. Riiiiight.

    I wear hearing aids, and people say stuff like, “Are you deaf or something?!” ALL the time around me. Know what? It doesn’t bother me.

    Sure, don’t call people names, I get that … it’s wrong. But sheesh … it is getting harder and harder anymore to freakin’ TALK to anyone because you have to be so damned careful about EVERYTHING …

    Why is it though … seriously now, why is it that everyone should not use a word like “retarded” because it offends a select handful of people, but yet … other things that offend much larger groups of people are perfectly OK? So, one argument I hear over and over is, “We don’t like the term retarded because it objectifies us. It makes us feel alone, and separated from the rest of humanity.” OK. Well, how about all of us that supposedly ARE in the “in” crowd that can’t stand all these guys walking around with their pants down around their ankles? Wait … you can’t complain about that because that would be racist … right?

    It’s 100% crap. All of it. People say and do things that offend me every single day. I have to deal with it, and so do you. Tough luck. That’s life. Move on and deal.

    Tell you what though … you stop using words like “liberal” “democrat” “democrap” “republican” “repug” “asshole” “dirt bag” … the list goes on. Stop using all those offensive words, and THEN I will gladly stop saying “retarded.” If you want to play the “that objectifies and separates people” crap, then we might as well stop using ANY words that group people together. But wait, don’t call people Christians, Atheists, Muslims, or Jews either. Those are all terms that separate one group of people from another group. But ya, when everyone stops using all these other words, THAT is when I will stop saying “retarded.”

    Comment by JoeBob — March 13, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

  37. JoeBob, please do not confuse ignorance with stupidity. Being stupid means that a person has the ability to learn, but chooses not to learn, such as folks like you who choose to attack and objectify people. Ignorance in merely when one has not yet learned the things that stupid people choose not to learn. And anyone who is as obviously as angry as you about life certainly is bothered by others trying to be thoughtful. An insult is an insult, whether directed at a person or overheard in a public place. Try working on improving your vocabulary to include words that do not have a demeaning insult when you want to “TALK to anyone.” You will find that you can converse quite well without stooping to insulting behaviors and language patterns.

    Comment by Patricia — March 15, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

  38. I am sure some of you may have judged my previous post. I did’t check it. The truth is is have a brain injury. When I am tired I forget simple words and even forget to spell check my work. You have a choice; you can judge my poor writing skills or think I am uneducated or listen to what I am trying to convey. We also listen with our heart when we choose to without judgment.

    EDITED: Words can either heal or hurt. I so appreciate the comment by Patricia March 15th. There is no need to talk further she has covered it perfectly from my perspective. Words will wound… you never know who is listening and how you can effect somebodies day. Do we have to police our words? It is time to be conscious of our words and actions not just for those who live with various disabilities but for our children’s sake. Our language is the doorway between judgement, bullying, abuse and having compassion, kindness and building healthy relationships personally and professionally in our community.

    “Our words are a window to our heart” Mathew 12:34 “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”

    Comment by Deborah Berry — June 7, 2014 @ 8:45 am

  39. I feel like it’s the reverse of what some people are saying. I have an uncle who is profoundly retarded. He is fifty years old and he lives for balloons. I think there’s nothing wrong with calling a person who’s mentally disabled retarded. The problem is when you start using it as a derogatory name toward people with whom you disagree.

    Look at the way language has gone. Idiot used to mean retarded, but people started using it as a dirty name and changed the meaning. Fool, dumb, retarded, same thing. It didn’t take long before “special” to become an insult. As fast a someone comes up with a PC word for it, someone else childishly uses it to call names.

    When you get offended, you’re giving them power.

    Comment by Sarah — February 13, 2015 @ 10:51 am

  40. Most Kalifornians when they get behind the wheel.

    Comment by I.M. Pistoff — March 9, 2015 @ 8:39 am

  41. Look I have ADHD and ADD and I use this word really really frequently and it’s mainly based off of things that are retarted if my friend is being stupid dumb he is being retarded I never misuse this word. But if I’m with a person who is mentally disabled I will never make fun of them because that is morally wrong but a lot of people in this world today are retarded lot of people can drive a lot of people shouldn’t even have their licenses I think a lot of people are incompetent dumbasses

    Comment by your mom — December 7, 2015 @ 12:33 am

  42. Retarded is a medical term. Get over it.

    Comment by Joe Esp;osito — July 9, 2017 @ 6:44 am

  43. Attn: Nancy Grace. CBS’s Otis Livingston called Nancy Grace fat woman and racist!

    Comment by jon — June 10, 2019 @ 12:03 pm

  44. I Love the Word Retarded I Proud me is Retarded bring back the back the Word Retarded Being Retarded is Extremely Excellent nice Word Destroy Rosa’s Law

    Comment by Donna — October 10, 2022 @ 12:02 pm

  45. Here’s the issue, if the word is hateful, offensive and you wouldn’t use it to describe persons with disabilities, then why use it at all. At least one person associated it with the “N” word and we call it the “N” word because of how much pain and offense is associated with it. Now I’m not comparing how bad one is to the other, that’s not the point. When you are at the center of the pain, the offense, it hurts either way. If you can’t say such words to or in the presence of, then its a word that just shouldn’t be used at all. It shouldn’t be used toward anyone for any reason then.

    The word demoralizes anyone and everyone indiscriminately that it is used against and you would have to be a very insensitive human being to stand behind and promote the use of it. Why have words that you would hide away in secrecy to speak out loud or feel ashamed and embarrassed if you were overheard saying it by anyone who has a mental disability and would be hurt so deeply by its use? Defending the use of such a word toward another human being, would only speak volumes of who you truly are….

    Comment by Burt Smith — October 23, 2022 @ 4:13 am

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