I’m talking about speech, but not about speaking indistinctly and running one’s words together. I’m talking about speech that insults.
Over on One Special Place, Renee Beauregard has a post deriding the use of “retard” and its variants (‘tard, ‘tarded, etc.) in common speech.
Do you have any idea how many times people with developmental disabilities are called the “R” word – in a way that is meant to be derogatory? And now, this word has become an adjective used as much as any other negative word to describe a person.
The history of disabilities is replete with terms that were once used clinically as well as insultingly: imbecile, idiot, moron, and others. Now that groups such as the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD; formerly American Association for Mental Retardation or AAMR) have changed their names, maybe the term “retard” as a slur can take its place on the slag heap of misbegotten insults.
Ms. Beauregard notes some examples of people taking offense at this use of the term. Link to her post. There are other resources available, too. Check Alex Santoso’s post from Neatorama for notes about the usage of some of these terms. Meanwhile, have a little consideration, please.