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View Poll Results: Is the word "retarded" offensive?

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  • Yes, every time it's used, no matter the circumstance.

    10 11.11%
  • Only when used to refer to a mentally handicapped person (see OP).

    44 48.89%
  • No it's never offensive (I'm insensitive).

    36 40.00%
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Results 61 to 70 of 120

  1. #61
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    I think saying "retard" in jest is relatively harmless. Unlike with the word "fag" and homosexuals, no one has real problems with the mentally handicapped, and I don't think I've ever heard some one call someone a retard in a serious tone to someone who was disabled. It's hardly ever used with real hostility.

  2. #62
    violaine
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I think it's fine, and I use it in jest with friends. The problem is that "retarded" is a perfectly acceptable real word that somehow became a slur, and now you can't even refer to someone who IS retarded as retarded.

    Which is retarded.
    Exactly! But I stopped using it at 15 so as not to upset others... it really was one of my fave words for describing the ridiculous.

    Although, (cue bitch thread), I was out with this woman a while ago - so loud, so obnoxious and 'that's retarded!!!' was her catch cry and uttered every 5 mins or so. E.g. we were talking about cremation - 'that's retarded!!!' - ugh. I kinda wanted to push her off of her chair by the end of the evening. A lot less love for the word after that, lol.

    I should add that I have never and would never use it to describe a mentally handicapped person. It was always indicative of a ridiculous mindset to me rather than ever referencing the mentally handicapped.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    +1 on this brother. The casual use of a term like this while seemingly harmless "...oh, I would never use it around an actual afflicted person..."
    can over time create attitudes and conditions that further isolate or marginalize the afflicted. For example if I use this phrase freqently around children who I am in a position of authority over, they may develop the idea that those who actually are "retarded" deserve little or no respect of understanding. If there is any inherent danger in using this word, even jokingly it is there.
    Agree.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    It's a youthful word for those of youthful habits. As people age and see their loved ones slipping into senescence, as they meet various brain-damaged or disadvantaged folks along they way, many of them open to the possibility that there are many ways to perceive The Other.

    Humor
    Scorn
    Fear(and rightly so)
    Acceptance
    Wonder
    Avoidance

    Pick one and stick to it and I'll tell you what you'll be like when you are older.

    Edit: Do I use it? Damn betcha I do. Do I watch my context? Oh yeah.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  5. #65
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    I think it's alright to use it when you're around a group of friends or something, but when you're in public, where people may hear you and take it offensivily, it may not be appropriate.

    I tend not to use it, not that it's necesarily offensive, which it is..but just the fact that it is one of the most overused words in the book..and drives me crazy when I hear it..
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  6. #66
    Senior Member StoryOfMyLife's Avatar
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    I find it offensive only by matter of context. I could never,ever call somebody who is mentally challenged such a name. I don't even consider 'retard' a proper description of somebody who is challenged in such a way.

    I do use the word, though, sometimes at least once a day. And usually it is in the reference of somebody behaving moronically [and most times, it is in reference to myself :P]. Very rarely do I mean it as a direct insult- it gets more use in jest than anything else.

    Besides that, the word 'retard' is from 'ritard', a musical term meaning 'to slow down' or 'slow' right? How did it ever turn into something offensive in the first place? *Imagines Beethoven or Bach cussing somebody out with musical terminology* ...hmm..
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  7. #67
    Senior Member blanclait's Avatar
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    its rude to call someone mentally handicapped a "retard" now. it has so many negative connotations attached.
    Language evolves, it no longer has a place in the realm of psychology.

    So i would go with the technical term of "mental retardation"
    never ever, retard.


    What i'm more concerned about is "psycho"
    that drives me nuts.
    LIKE SHIT, neurotic people are NOT PSYCHOS.

  8. #68
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falcarius View Post
    This thread made Falcarius nostalgic, as it reminded him when both him and Brendan got a formal warning on INTPc for calling each other retards a few years back. He just looked over his PMs at INTPc, apparently the messages got deleted because it might offend people despite the fact Falcarius was the dinosaur person who got called a retard in the first instant and nicely asked for the messages to be kept up. If that does not sum up why political correctness is stupid then Falcarius does not know what will.

    As for the OP he voted for the last option.
    The name is not the concept?
    A conception is already a bias.

  9. #69
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    The name is not the concept?
    A conception is already a bias.
    And bias tells us more about the accuser than the accused.

    It is an insult, paradoxically, taylor-made for the socially-challenged whose repertoire of insults is limited.

    PS. What's a britfag?

  10. #70
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    I think the question should be: do retards mind being referred to as retarded?

    Sometimes the obsession with meanings says more about the person who objects than the word does itself. If there is no rancor behind the use of a word, what should it matter what someone says? The feeling behind the word is more important than the words themselves. I can refer to someone as mentally handicapped or handicapable or disabled and have this be more condescending than if I referred to them as retarded.

    The other problem is, we apply labels liberally. We try to generalize everything about a person or phenomenon into concise words. Obviously, this does not capture the full nuance of a person, however I'm not sure obsessing over semantics is the best approach to respect the inherent complexity of things.

    My solution is: try not to take words seriously. See beyond the words.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

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