www.thefreedictionary.com/retardv. re·tard·ed, re·tard·ing, re·tards. v.tr. To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede. v.intr. To be delayed. n. 1. A slowing down or hindering of progress
Now, I assume what I am about to write, may offend some people. Remember, I simply vomit what I feel, and there is a way to comment if you wish to argue, state your take on things, or..whatever. I am just sick and tired of the rules changing to suit a specific group, and a separate set of rules for everyone else.
Now, I am just not up to dealing with all the facts on the "N" word, although that is one of the worst words that the world has attempted to remove from their vocabulary, and...those who claimed to find it so offensive, and taught the rest of us to erase from our language, spew it on a constant basis, and we are suppose to accept and ignore...Somehow this word has become race specific, and is allowed to be used only by those who previously found it offensive.
The word that set me off this time is the one you see defined above. Today I saw a letter written by someone with Downs Syndrome, in reply to a comment someone made about President Obama, in short claiming he is a retard. The gentleman apparently was offended. The rest of the world seems offended along with him.
I am 57 years old! I grew up when all those words we have since removed from our day to day vocabulary were used. I ate filberts...which back in my day, were called N Toes. I ate licorice babies, which also had the N word. When someone did something stupid, they were called retarded. We had Douche bags, Dose's, gimps, spastics, etc. I never used the N word in regards to people, it was simply used to describe things. I didn't do it to be rude, or offensive.As I grew older, and watched TV, and read, I understood the hurt this word caused others, and I basically removed it from my vocabulary.
We had a family that lived a street behind my home. The mother was the Girl Guide Leader in town. I belonged to Girl Guides. She was (what I am now) an older woman, likely in her 50's. This couple had one child, her name was Helen, and Helen was born with Downs Syndrome. I realize now, Helen was much older than us, perhaps in her late twenties, or even 30. I can't remember her coming to Girl Guides with her mother, but, we (and by we, I mean all the kids in town) used to hang out with Helen. Of course we knew she was different, and in all honesty, I know we used to call her retarded, but never to her face. I have thought of Helen often, over the years. Like many things I did when I was young, and foolish, I wish I could go back in time, with the understanding I now have. I can't, but, I have done the best I can, and that is taking the time to educate myself (a little) about Downs Syndrome.
I thought the world had grown. I thought that folks recognized that terms can be derogatory. I know that words can hurt, because I have been the brunt of words , and I am sure almost everyone I know has at some time, realized how much pain words can inflict.I am glad that we reached a point, that we understand words are weapons, and we teach our children how hurtful certain words are, and that they are not acceptable.
But...then I see something like this letter spewed about. I see this person with Downs Syndrome immediately becoming offended because the word Retard is used in context with the American President, somehow makes him feel belittled. HELLOOOO.....Look to the definition, world!! My husband drives a truck, the truck has a brake, called.....a retarder. That means it slows the truck down. This word has an actual meaning, it has been around long before it was picked up and used by humanity as a descriptive remark for those folks who are "handicapped" (gosh I am likely offending here, but, not trying to).
Now, I still use that word, I use it when folks do something stupid, yes, because it is a word that means slow. I use that word to describe things I do, that make no sense, and cause me to go backwards. I use the word along with others, idiot, twit, stupid, dumb, because...they fit the moment. Perhaps this woman should have said the President, in her opinion, was slow, and lagging behind? Her mistake was using a word that is in the dictionary and has a meaning behind it, suiting her opinion of the President. I highly doubt she thinks the President has Downs Syndrome. So, because she used a word in the proper context, with a valid meaning behind it, she is accused of discrimination.
To have truly grown out of the dark ages, we have to understand, words do have meaning. We cannot continue to go around in a circle deciding when a proper word is allowed. We must accept that people can be slow, trucks can be slow, movement can be slow, time can move slowly, we can pick up a book, and read a statement "his movements were retarded by the darkness" and understand, he was moving slower than normal. We realize he wasn't moving slower because he had Downs Syndrome!
I love words. I used to jump to the list of words in the monthly Reader's Digest, hoping to increase my vocabulary by exotic words,seldom used by others. I honestly admit to using words to offend, like Slut,whore, b*tch (I AM a catty female) but except for my beloved pets, I don't speak the words directly to those involved. I am the first one up in arms if I hear the N word used to describe someone, and I would definitely be up in arms if the word retard was used in regards to someone with Downs Syndrome. However.....this is not the case, and we have got to get a grip on being politically correct.
If you listen to almost any conversation, or read any article, you could likely find something to pick out and become offended. It is simple to take things out of the context they are written or said, this happens all the time in the media, and it is becoming bizarre. Rumours and gossip are frowned upon, however, jumping the gun on a single comment, and twisting it about to make it mean something it was not meant to, is suddenly cause for the world to get up in arms. Too continually focus on a word that we have tried to use in the correct context, and refuse to accept the true meaning of, puts us in the position of now having to pick up the Thesaurus and go down the list, in hopes that we can chose the politically correct word that means what we want to say. Holy cow...(hopefully not offending an Eastern religion). Perhaps the solution is, folks should immediately stop speaking and writing. Then we can get in trouble by the way we look at people....