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Housedays
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12 Apr 2014, 12:48 pm

The words "moron", "imbecile" and "idiot" were the "original" terms used to describe people with intellectual disabilities. People started using those words as insults. Then "retarded" came to replace them. Then "retarded" started being used as an insult.

That is, whatever term is used for intellectual disabilities, it will always evolve into becoming an insult.



CyclopsSummers
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12 Apr 2014, 1:26 pm

One must also bear in mind that psychiatry itself is constantly advancing, and that our views of mental disorders evolve along with the insights that we acquire along the way. The old terms have all been discarded not only because they had gotten a negative connotation, but also because they were perceived as no longer accurately describing those particular mental conditions.


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League_Girl
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12 Apr 2014, 1:54 pm

This all is so intellectual disabled :P

Whoops, time to get a new word to replace the new word. :lol:

It will be years before people can use the word retarded and not offend anyone like we can with stupid or moron or imbecile or idiot. But my dad still uses the word stupid in its literal term but also uses it as a phrase too.


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khaoz
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12 Apr 2014, 2:02 pm

If someone calls me an idiot or an imbecile because of my behavior I take it as a compliment, but when people use those terms as an insult because of my ideology I just hold up a mirror.



jrjones9933
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12 Apr 2014, 3:51 pm

Wikipedia wrote:
A euphemism is a generally innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant.
...
Euphemisms often evolve over time into taboo words themselves, through a process described by W.V.O. Quine, and more recently dubbed the "euphemism treadmill" by Harvard professor Steven Pinker. This is the linguistic process known as pejoration or semantic change. For instance, Toilet is an 18th-century euphemism, replacing the older euphemism House-of-Office, which in turn replaced the even older euphemisms privy-house or bog-house. In the 20th century, where the words lavatory or toilet were deemed inappropriate, they were sometimes replaced with bathroom or water closet, which in turn became simply restroom, W.C., or washroom.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism#Evolution



CockneyRebel
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12 Apr 2014, 11:01 pm

I find them all to be hurtful and hateful.


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auntblabby
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12 Apr 2014, 11:20 pm

if a person has an IQ < 70, what is the proper term to describe them today?



jrjones9933
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12 Apr 2014, 11:35 pm

Senator



auntblabby
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12 Apr 2014, 11:36 pm

and not congressman?



jrjones9933
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12 Apr 2014, 11:45 pm

Let's not make my already weak attempt at a joke completely unfunny by analyzing it to death.



auntblabby
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12 Apr 2014, 11:46 pm

but that's the BEST kind of humor! :lmao:



B19
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13 Apr 2014, 2:09 am

Human being?

I am at the opposite end of the IQ spectrum, though to be defined by that my IQ score alone would horrify me. It would tell you nothing about me as a person or my life.

When I grew up - a long time ago - the common term for people who were intellectually challenged was "a bit simple" or just "simple". And then much later the 'polite' term was "intellectually challenged". Well we are all challenged in some way, as humans...

I seem to remember reading studies some time that suggested:
high IQ alone was a poor predictor of success in life, and
the incidence of depression was greater in high IQ people.

Getting a bit off topic though.



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13 Apr 2014, 5:27 am

Way to go genius. Yeah good guess Eisenstein. See? Even that can be turned into an insult. :P



jrjones9933
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13 Apr 2014, 7:16 am

People will use any label to imply some kind of value judgement, and which really matters more? I care more about the value judgment than the label, because I don't believe that anything inherently exists in any word. Like EzraS said, people can and will devalue whatever suits them. No word is safe!

If people have had a lot of vile judgments laid upon them using a word, then they will attach significance to that word, and I prefer to respect people's feelings rather than argue about the validity of my theory of language. However, if people find any descriptor hateful and hurtful, then without some way to talk about a category of people, I can't advocate on their behalf. "People with an IQ under 70" not only trips up attempts at rhetoric, but it also creates a firm boundary. Crisp lines and firm boundaries cause a lot of the problems with categorization in general.



auntblabby
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13 Apr 2014, 12:34 pm

if history has shown us anything, it is that categorization isn't going anywhere, the most that ever happens is that it is suppressed.



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13 Apr 2014, 3:21 pm

Hmmm, yeah, happy memories.

Years ago I was working an a place where the manager had attended the Basil Fawlty school of management. His basic technique was to yell, shout at and insult all of his staff until they were all terrified of him. Then young Eccles entered the scene. Well, one morning he called me a moron which was a big mistake because I actually KNEW the definition of a moron and was quite sure that I didn't fit the bill. So, I accused him to his face of using words where he didn't know the meaning and the guy went absolutely ballistic, it was the first time I'd seen someone's face go purple with rage.

Eventually I quit. Years later I found out that my ex manager had literally died on the job, the heart attack was so massive that he was dead before he hit the floor.


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