New York cancels use of "mentally retarded" as official term

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Twilightprincess
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05 Aug 2022, 10:14 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
How long until intellectual disability is dropped because it becomes an insult?. What is happening here is that we are letting bullies define language for us. This really rubs me the wrong way. It is never going to end unless we put a stop to it. It can be done. “Queer” was a slur that is a descriptor today because that community said enough.


I don’t have a problem with dropping words that have become slurs. Living languages evolve and are fluid. There will always be other words that we can use. I think that “intellectual disability” is a better term than “mental retardation.” It’s more precise and has not been used as an insult.


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ASPartOfMe
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05 Aug 2022, 11:37 am

Twilightprincess wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
How long until intellectual disability is dropped because it becomes an insult?. What is happening here is that we are letting bullies define language for us. This really rubs me the wrong way. It is never going to end unless we put a stop to it. It can be done. “Queer” was a slur that is a descriptor today because that community said enough.


I don’t have a problem with dropping words that have become slurs. Living languages evolve and are fluid. There will always be other words that we can use. I think that “intellectual disability” is a better term than “mental retardation.” It’s more precise and has not been used as an insult.


Language evolving organically happens for many reasons. That is not what is happening here, enabling bullies is what is happening here. Let’s look at “autistic”. There are valid arguments why the term is not accurate but that is irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion. “Autistic” started out as a medical term with very negative connotations. Our community reappropriated the term to mean anything from a neutral descriptor to a positive identity. For the last decade or so “Autistic” has been used as an insult. We still use it. There are no calls that I am aware of to eliminate “Autistic” based on its use as a pejorative. We are not letting others decide for us.


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Twilightprincess
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05 Aug 2022, 11:47 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
How long until intellectual disability is dropped because it becomes an insult?. What is happening here is that we are letting bullies define language for us. This really rubs me the wrong way. It is never going to end unless we put a stop to it. It can be done. “Queer” was a slur that is a descriptor today because that community said enough.


I don’t have a problem with dropping words that have become slurs. Living languages evolve and are fluid. There will always be other words that we can use. I think that “intellectual disability” is a better term than “mental retardation.” It’s more precise and has not been used as an insult.


Language evolving organically happens for many reasons. That is not what is happening here, enabling bullies is what is happening here.


It’s exactly what is happening here.

Choosing to drop the word “retard,” which is a slur, is not enabling bullies at all. I think it makes it clearer who the bullies are since only those who are bullies use that terminology.

Avoiding terms that have been hurtful to some, including my Down Syndrome friends, promotes inclusivity and is a kind and sensitive thing to do. I wouldn’t want to trigger anyone.

There are other words that can be used, when necessary, that work just as well, if not better.


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ASPartOfMe
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05 Aug 2022, 12:30 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
How long until intellectual disability is dropped because it becomes an insult?. What is happening here is that we are letting bullies define language for us. This really rubs me the wrong way. It is never going to end unless we put a stop to it. It can be done. “Queer” was a slur that is a descriptor today because that community said enough.


I don’t have a problem with dropping words that have become slurs. Living languages evolve and are fluid. There will always be other words that we can use. I think that “intellectual disability” is a better term than “mental retardation.” It’s more precise and has not been used as an insult.


Language evolving organically happens for many reasons. That is not what is happening here, enabling bullies is what is happening here.


It’s exactly what is happening here.

Choosing to drop the word “retard,” which is a slur, is not enabling bullies at all. I think it makes it clearer who the bullies are since only those who are bullies use that terminology.

Avoiding terms that have been hurtful to some, including my Down Syndrome friends, promotes inclusivity and is a kind and sensitive thing to do. I wouldn’t want to trigger anyone.

There are other words that can be used, when necessary, that work just as well, if not better.

Of note “retard” in comparison to “retarded” was an insult from the get go.

It is enabling bullies in that the change is being made because of them.

I don’t need language police to tell the difference between


and the schoolyard bullies who targeted me.


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05 Aug 2022, 2:05 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
How long until intellectual disability is dropped because it becomes an insult?. What is happening here is that we are letting bullies define language for us. This really rubs me the wrong way. It is never going to end unless we put a stop to it. It can be done. “Queer” was a slur that is a descriptor today because that community said enough.


I don’t have a problem with dropping words that have become slurs. Living languages evolve and are fluid. There will always be other words that we can use. I think that “intellectual disability” is a better term than “mental retardation.” It’s more precise and has not been used as an insult.


Language evolving organically happens for many reasons. That is not what is happening here, enabling bullies is what is happening here.


It’s exactly what is happening here.

Choosing to drop the word “retard,” which is a slur, is not enabling bullies at all. I think it makes it clearer who the bullies are since only those who are bullies use that terminology.

Avoiding terms that have been hurtful to some, including my Down Syndrome friends, promotes inclusivity and is a kind and sensitive thing to do. I wouldn’t want to trigger anyone.

There are other words that can be used, when necessary, that work just as well, if not better.

Of note “retard” in comparison to “retarded” was an insult from the get go.

It is enabling bullies in that the change is being made because of them.

I don’t need language police to tell the difference between ...

and the schoolyard bullies who targeted me.


That's you. Sometimes people with intellectual disabilities will be triggered without being able to discern the difference between diverse usages of the word. It's sensitive and caring to just avoid it altogether.

It's not enabling bullies at all. Bullies aren't going around thinking: "Yes, I've won because that word can't be used anymore!" They'd probably be more upset about no longer being able to use it without people recognizing their bigoted beliefs.


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05 Aug 2022, 3:00 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
It's not enabling bullies at all. Bullies aren't going around thinking: "Yes, I've won because that word can't be used anymore!" They'd probably be more upset about no longer being able to use it without people recognizing their bigoted beliefs.

You are right in that bullies are not thinking I won, I got the language changed. Bullying is a form of sadism. They are getting the pleasure from upsetting people.

Sometimes, too many times being hurt by bullies is unavoidable, in this case it is avoidable.

Every situation is different, there is no one answer for every situation.

As we often do on WP we go off topic(guilty as charged) so lets get back to my OP. My objection is not the language change per se is that time and effort was spent on this when it could have been better spent passing a law that would prohibit autistic New York State residents from being sent to the Judge Rotenberg Center. Hurt from getting an electric shock is much worse then hurt feelings from a word.

No this is not organic language change, this is result of a successful lobbying effort. What exactly was won by getting the language changed in state documents? A politician running for election gets a few votes, the lobbyists feel good about themselves. This is going to effect how many people?

Looking at the bigger picture what is gained by forcing a language change? The bullies either stop using the now offensive language and adapt, or has been so often happening they troll by double and triple down on the bad word. Either way the bullied are not being helped.

The rate of words being deemed inappropriate has increased a lot in the last few decades. It seems to me incidents of bigotry and bullying have gone up. But hey the bullies have now been exposed.


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05 Aug 2022, 3:53 pm

Its only banning the official use of the word by local government office.

If gov really cared for the ID they would fund more research to help treat these issues, not engage in pointless PC gestures.

In 2012 there were 81 treatable ID`s, in 2021 that rose to 116. So research does seem to work they just need more funding.

https://treatable-id.org/

As to bullies they`ll always use a word to insult, whether against someone jaywalking out into the road or doing something they perceive as idiotic. It would be incredibly nieve to think otherwise.

Sometimes a word is just quickly invented like "Let's Go Brandon". Thinking you can ban a word in the english language that has a quick recognisable meaning is like playing whack a mole and will never work.


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05 Aug 2022, 8:23 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Just because "idiot" was an official medical term back in the 1920s----doesn't mean it's a correct term nowadays (obviously!). Language evolves.


99% of people who use the word "idiot" are not even cognisant of its origins.



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05 Aug 2022, 8:28 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
It’s not street talk around here because it’s not considered a cool thing to say. It’s used by people who are used to using it (like my parents), those who don’t mind using slurs about marginalized people because they don’t like “wokeness” (my dad as well), or children who do not understand the deeper implications of what they are saying. It’s almost viewed as dorky.


It's normalised....I was watching the last Predator movie last night which is only a few years old and the word was used quite liberally by the cast playing soldiers who were portrayed as funny and anti-woke.

If comedians and movie script writers are using it in their set it means the word still has currency. I have heard it used in my daughter's mainstream school because she's the recipient of that word. I hear it used by high school aged kids in public amongst each other.

My concern like the words "imcecile, fool and idiot" it will eventually creep into the English vocabluary.



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05 Aug 2022, 8:37 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
[My objection is not the language change per se is that time and effort was spent on this when it could have been better spent passing a law that would prohibit autistic New York State residents from being sent to the Judge Rotenberg Center. Hurt from getting an electric shock is much worse then hurt feelings from a word..


How about both? there's a tendency on this forum to overlook ID if it doesn't impact the member, their family, their partner or their children. The reality is ID is something many people on the spectrum have to live with.

My daughter has above average intelligence compared to NTs and in her mainstream school where she's considered "smart" (perhaps even "savant" like) with her photographic memory, numbers and music. But her social awkwardness and language skills/language processing means she's a recipient of the r-word, Same with people who have other conditions like cerebral palsy who (like my daughter) could be geniuses but to an NT it's all the same.

So while you are focused on autism rights (and you are perfectly entitled to do so) don't forget to most NTs everyone who is disabled is lumped into the same bucket.



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06 Aug 2022, 2:45 am

cyberdad wrote:
So while you are focused on autism rights (and you are perfectly entitled to do so) don't forget to most NTs everyone who is disabled is lumped into the same bucket.

Spending all this time and effort to ban words has backfired. Bullying, racism, and all these things people for these bannings and language policing want to end have gotten more in the open and more entrenched. In the places where "retard" has gotten unacceptable, it has been replaced by "autistic"(SMH). It is really that cliche about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

cyberdad wrote:
How about both?

How about prioritizing not sending state residents to be tortured over changing a word?

cyberdad wrote:

99% of people who use the word "idiot" are not even cognisant of its origins.

I was among the 99% until recently.


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06 Aug 2022, 3:05 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
So while you are focused on autism rights (and you are perfectly entitled to do so) don't forget to most NTs everyone who is disabled is lumped into the same bucket.

Spending all this time and effort to ban words has backfired. Bullying, racism, and all these things people for these bannings and language policing want to end have gotten more in the open and more entrenched. In the places where "retard" has gotten unacceptable, it has been replaced by "autistic"(SMH). It is really that cliche about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
.


Actually it's worked with the n-word. I would like to see the r-word treated with the same revulsion.

Nobody want autism used as a slur either. Least of all me.



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06 Aug 2022, 3:15 am

cyberdad wrote:

Actually it's worked with the n-word. I would like to see the r-word treated with the same revulsion.

I have not noticed racism going down. All that has changed is that people use the code words for the word instead of the word.

cyberdad wrote:
Nobody want autism used as a slur either. Least of all me.

I don't think you do, that is one reason why I used it as an example of language policing failing.


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06 Aug 2022, 3:18 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Actually it's worked with the n-word. I would like to see the r-word treated with the same revulsion.

I have not noticed racism going down. All that has changed is that people use the code words for the word instead of the word.
.


it's a first step though. I know many people will compare this to Orwell's thought police but its about being sensitive to other people's feelings, I would also like people to stop using the b-word to women. I think people know the b-word and the r-word is wrong so at least it get's people thinking.



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06 Aug 2022, 3:28 am

cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Actually it's worked with the n-word. I would like to see the r-word treated with the same revulsion.

I have not noticed racism going down. All that has changed is that people use the code words for the word instead of the word.
.


it's a first step though. I know many people will compare this to Orwell's thought police but its about being sensitive to other people's feelings, I would also like people to stop using the b-word to women. I think people know the b-word and the r-word is wrong so at least it get's people thinking.

Then teach do not to be insensitive. The current trend of scolding people for being bigots, old, and out of touch because they want to use a word deemed unacceptable is not working. Language policing is more often than not is being insensitive.


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06 Aug 2022, 7:17 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Language policing is more often than not is being insensitive.


I think it's needs to be done right. There is an art to doing it.

Quite clearly ramming it down people's throats using the legal system isn't working.

Individualistic societies are where people don't like the government telling them what they can say.