Why do you find the word "retard" offensive?

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r84shi37
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28 Dec 2012, 2:05 am

Retard definition:

Verb
Delay or hold back in terms of progress, development, or accomplishment.

Noun
offensive. A mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse).

Retarded definition:

Adjective
Less advanced, esp. mentally, than is usual for one's age.

Synonyms
backward - delayed

I don't find "retard or retarded" offensive. I used to verbally use them; ever since I joined WP I learned that many aspergians (and probably anyone with a mental condition) hate it, so I have avoided using them. Now, looking at it from a technical standpoint, most aspergians are held back or delayed in some form or another i.e socially, motor issues, etc. I don't consider us handicapped, but some people do, and I guess from a very particular perspective we could be considered handicapped. Aspergians are generally socially less advanced than their peers, however, I think we tend to be intellectually more advanced. Aspergians are probably delayed in certain ways as well.

It's really just a word, and the meaning of the word more or less can apply to aspergians. Of course, there are plenty of types of mental conditions, I'm just using AS as my example because I'm fairly sure that most WP users are aspergians. I understand that in certain context it can be offensive, but generally. it's just a word; like "obese" or "weird".


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28 Dec 2012, 2:38 am

Most people don't use it according to the dictionary definition, though. They use it to mean "stupid", which is insulting to both the person being called a retard, and people who are actually retarded.


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eric76
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28 Dec 2012, 3:25 am

r84shi37 wrote:
Noun
offensive. A mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse).


After that, you had to ask?



Vitamin-K
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28 Dec 2012, 3:44 am

Sometimes doing something that is dumb (putting your hand over an open flame to see if it's hot) can be perceived as retarded.

Calling somebody doing that retarded is in context. I don't mind it so long as it's not just thrown around. I can think of many other choice words to call people who are acting aloof. ;)



auntblabby
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28 Dec 2012, 4:18 am

anybody who would call another person a retard might as well be describing themselves.



Noetic
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28 Dec 2012, 5:01 am

I tend not to find words like that offensive. If they are used as an insult towards me, then yes I find it offensive, but I never understood this NT tendency to get hysterical about meanings they impose on words and how you "aren't supposed to say that".



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28 Dec 2012, 5:25 am

I do not find them offensive; doing so would be to politicize them and neglect the history of them. I find words like that great and which more accurate may describe aspects of my life and place it in a wider historical setting.



TallyMan
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28 Dec 2012, 5:26 am

eric76 wrote:
r84shi37 wrote:
Noun
offensive. A mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse).


After that, you had to ask?


^ This.


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28 Dec 2012, 5:26 am

Yes, I do find it offensive. I think it's disgusting. I wish people wouldn't use it as an insult so causally.



LeeAnderson
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28 Dec 2012, 6:06 am

I do find it very offensive.



hanyo
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28 Dec 2012, 6:59 am

I do. I also find it offensive how people refer to things they don't like as being "gay". I see this as homophobia even if it's not meant that way. I love gays and it would never occur to me to use that word to describe something as bad since I see that as a good thing. I'd no more use that as an insult than saying something is "beautiful" or "delicious" as an insult.

I also find it offensive when people throw around the word "downie" as an insult.



auntblabby
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28 Dec 2012, 7:07 am

i grew up the recipient of that word.



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28 Dec 2012, 7:45 am

I think it became an offensive word because people kept using it in unkind ways with unkind, insulting intentions, to put people down, as in "That retard managed to delete my files." said in an angry way about someone who did something stupid.

The word "b***h" may be similar in that sense. The original meaning wasn't offensive, but people kept using it to mean an unpleasant woman. Now it's considered a very offensive word. I guess that's how words evolve.

As you can see in this thread, different people have different perceptions. So, it can also be quite subjective.

I myself find the word "retard" rather negative.



CockneyRebel
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28 Dec 2012, 8:18 am

eric76 wrote:
r84shi37 wrote:
Noun
offensive. A mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse).


After that, you had to ask?


That's the reason that I'm offended by the word, Retard. What's the point of this thread? I was called that hurtful word by my peers all through grade school from kindergarten to Grade 12 and you had to ask?


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Marcia
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28 Dec 2012, 8:44 am

eric76 wrote:
r84shi37 wrote:
Noun
offensive. A mentally handicapped person (often used as a general term of abuse).


After that, you had to ask?


This.