So many people use the word "retarded" to mean "messed up." They think nothing of it. I do. I cringe. Every. Single. Time. For several years I worked as a camp counselor and then teacher at a camp for kids and teens with developmental disabilities. This experience really opened my eyes to how much this phrase is overused and how much it knocks down and hurts people.

What does "retarded" actually mean?


1. characterized by retardation: a retarded child.
2. (used with a plural verb) mentally retarded persons collectively (usually prec. by the): new schools for the retarded.

1800–10; retard + -ed 2

backward, disabled, handicapped.

from dictionary.com

Oh hey! "retarded" actually refers to a PERSON! By looking at the definition and comparing that to how the word is actually used, you can clearly see how it is demeaning and insulting to just throw the word out as a descriptor.

I know that many times that people use "retarded" to describe something, they aren't actually thinking about what they are saying. Comparing people who are developmentally disabled to something that is "messed up" should not be accepted ever. More people need to think about what they are implying before they say things.

If you are someone who uses "retarded" daily without thinking of its meaning, I beg you to please please from now on think about what you are saying and what you are implying. I pray that someday this phrase will not be used anymore and that there is more acceptance for people who aren't the norm.

(Yes I do know that "retard" means to slow down- however using "retarded" of this form makes zero sense- the common use comes from the descriptor of a person.)

Jenna  – (May 14, 2009 at 10:56 PM)  

I've been working so hard at eliminating this from my vocabulary after reading a post by a mom I really respect who has a child with Downs. I'm going to write this up on my own blog and extend this same challenge you made to others as well. I think some people just don't even take a moment to think about how offensive it can be.

Meredith  – (May 14, 2009 at 10:58 PM)  

I cringe when I hear it too, but I know I have been guilty of using it too. Good reminder.

YD  – (May 15, 2009 at 4:28 PM)  

Good post. I just don't understand why people find the need to use words like that. Another word that bugs me is when people say "oh that's g**" or use the 3-letter f word. I happened to know someone who's gay and it makes me mad to hear it.

Samantha  – (May 15, 2009 at 6:21 PM)  

I agree Yeongshe!! Why can't people just say "ugh that doesn't make sense" or "I don't get that!" when they don't understand something. Why do you have to take down someone else?

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