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Do you use the word "retarded" loosley?

So I grew up working with the disabled, especially down syndrome. I know how sensetive the parents and loved ones of a child can be. A very close friend of mine recently told me how the word "retarded" bothered her deeply. She has a severly handicapped brother, who she has had to take care of. It's really never been a choice word of mine, but now I notice how loosley the term get's thrown around. And I can almost see her wince when it's said. It's been making me think. Why do we have to say stuff like,"that's retarded", or "you're retarded" so much. I mean, if you don't mean it that way, than what DO you mean? What are your feelings and thoughts on this?


Asked by Steff107 at 10:33 PM on Dec. 27, 2009 in Just for Fun

Level 3 (16 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (28)
  • I do not use that word nor do I allow my children to use it. It is just as offensive as the word nigger or fag. An intelligent person does not need to insult to converse.

    Answer by teamquinn at 10:39 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I also worked with people with special needs. When I say retarded, I am not referring to people with special needs but people who think they are normal.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:35 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I used to I have been trying to get rid of it though and I also used to say that's gay. I never meant to cause harm and then when I started hanging out with some LGBT people I realized how derogatory it was. The same happened with retarded when I started taking my psych courses. It was something from when I was a teenager but I almost never use now.

    Answer by PsychMommie at 10:37 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • To me it's just as bad as the n word, or that's so gay, or anything else that is used to put down who someone is. It's wrong.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:39 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I don't consider my children with special needs to be "retarded" and know how bad it hurt my oldest when she was 11 and a stupid dr used the word. "Mental retardation" is a medical term and doesn't bother me, but MRDD is a better way to describe without using the actual words that can offend my daughter. My youngest daughter has Down Syndrome. I will say that some day someone is going to ask me if she is a "mongoloid" and they may lose a few teeth from the experience. I think that people accidently slip the word "retarded" out for a slang and it doesn't tick me off really. People who use it too much just need a better vocabulary though.

    Answer by mommy9 at 10:40 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Personally, I hate the word. When I was young and stupid I didn't get what the big deal was. I have since worked for a non-profit agency that advocates for the rights of the disabled and have met many many amazing people with disabilities and they have changed me. They often talked about the word, and how they hated it. In fact, they were instrumental in our state changing the name of a state agency from DMR (The Department for the Mentally Retarded) to DDS (Department for Developmental Services). It was a great day for us all :)

    I have also noticed that it's thrown around pretty recklessly, and I actually don't have a problem saying things like "I don't like that word" which is not like me because I usually hesitate to make waves. For some reason I don't mind making trouble when it comes to this issue.

    Answer by beckcorc at 10:40 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • No, it's a slur like any other. I understand how people use it because I grew up using it like slang. But now I have a much better perspective.


    Answer by maxswolfsuit at 10:49 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • I do restrain myself for the sensitive in public but at home we know how we mean it and we don't worry about it. And we have two children that are afflicted with Autism & one cousin that passed as a child from Cerebral Palsy; so it's not that we don't know what we're talking about...

    We don't consider these children to be "retarded"; we simply recognize they have different strengths and weakness' like we all do; theirs just happen to be more pronounced.

    In it's vernacular use the word has come to mean stupid. My family does not consider these children stupid in anyway; thus we don't take offense; assuming the context was benign to begin with...now if someone walked up and said Hey's what's wrong with him is he r____ or something; yes that would be out of line...but for one of us to do something totally stupid and say "that was r_____ of me" is meaningless...at least to us...

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:49 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • 10:37 PM PsychMommie: "I used to I have been trying to get rid of it though and I also used to say that's gay. I never meant to cause harm and then when I started hanging out with some LGBT people I realized how derogatory it was."

    What about the original meaning of the word gay - happy?
    What about the British calling cigarettes fags or faggots as slang? Should they stop too because LGBT here may be offended?

    People really need to take language into context and intention. Language is fluid; not concrete.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:52 PM on Dec. 27, 2009

  • Why are so many people sensitive to every word these days?? We used it when we were kids not attacking mentally disabled people.

    Answer by Apr1l at 10:52 PM on Dec. 27, 2009