Author Topic: The R Word  (Read 1389 times)

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Offline Justin Kissel

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The R Word
« on: July 18, 2011, 01:26:59 AM »
Language: Why the R-word is not OK

If you haven't said it yourself, then you've probably heard someone else say it: "That's retarded."
 
A lot of kids think this description -- calling someone "retarded" or "a retard" -- is OK, especially if it's a joke. There is a growing awareness that these words are hurtful no matter how they are used...

Offline Ioannis Climacus

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 03:22:55 AM »
This process seems to repeat every few decades. The mentally retarded were once called "idiots", "morons", and "imbeciles". These were authentic medical terms until they were deemed offensive and their use discontinued.

What happens when "people with intellectual disabilities" becomes offensive? Will it be changed to something more "apropos"? Should we discourage the use of other words that could possibly be construed as "offensive" (take "dumb" for example which refers to those lacking vocal capabilities)? We may feel at first that we are being kind and considerate [by avoiding the use of certain words], but in reality we are perpetuating a ridiculous system.

Society needs to get over the stupidity of the system it has created. Words themselves are not wrong, nor are they offensive unless they are injected into an offensive context. This whole fascination with the isolated offensiveness of a word's nature seems to be rooted in the Victorian concept of "curse words". Words, being nothing more that a method in which we convey thoughts, should not be construed as offensive unless they are meant to convey offensive ideas.

Political correctness is, well, retarded.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 03:24:37 AM by Ioannis Climacus »
Note : Many of my posts (especially the ones antedating late 2012) do not reflect charity, tact, or even views I presently hold. Please forgive me for any antagonism I have caused.

Offline Stephen St. Pierre

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 05:34:00 AM »
This process seems to repeat every few decades. The mentally retarded were once called "idiots", "morons", and "imbeciles". These were authentic medical terms until they were deemed offensive and their use discontinued.

What happens when "people with intellectual disabilities" becomes offensive? Will it be changed to something more "apropos"? Should we discourage the use of other words that could possibly be construed as "offensive" (take "dumb" for example which refers to those lacking vocal capabilities)? We may feel at first that we are being kind and considerate [by avoiding the use of certain words], but in reality we are perpetuating a ridiculous system.

Society needs to get over the stupidity of the system it has created. Words themselves are not wrong, nor are they offensive unless they are injected into an offensive context. This whole fascination with the isolated offensiveness of a word's nature seems to be rooted in the Victorian concept of "curse words". Words, being nothing more that a method in which we convey thoughts, should not be construed as offensive unless they are meant to convey offensive ideas.

Political correctness is, well, retarded.

Well done! Sticks & stones, etc.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 12:15:45 PM »
Nevermind
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 12:16:33 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline primuspilus

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 01:57:39 PM »
Quote
If you haven't said it yourself, then you've probably heard someone else say it: "That's retarded."
 
A lot of kids think this description -- calling someone "retarded" or "a retard" -- is OK, especially if it's a joke. There is a growing awareness that these words are hurtful no matter how they are used...

They'll live. People say things all the time that bother me. Dead baby jokes happen to be one I hate with a fervent passion for personal reasons. But I wont walk over to someone "I am offended because....". They can say what they want, who am I to stop them? Afterall, I'll live.

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Offline KBN1

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 03:37:14 PM »
Retarded is a much better word than disabled.  Being retarded is an impediment, not a lack of ability. 

Offline FormerReformer

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 03:48:42 PM »
Retarded is a much better word than disabled.  Being retarded is an impediment, not a lack of ability.  

I feel much the same way about the word "handicapped" vs "disabled" in general. A blind person is handicapped by his blindness, he can still function. A mentally "disabled" person is a vegetable on life support, a person who's a little "slow" has a retarded mental ability.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 03:48:53 PM by FormerReformer »
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Offline CBGardner

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 04:55:43 PM »
Nevermind

I'd be surprised if you expected a different response.
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Offline sainthieu

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 04:57:41 PM »
I'm curious to know how we got to the point where everyone is supposed to have the 'right' to never be offended. It's not realistic.

Offline CBGardner

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 05:04:32 PM »
This thread really isn't about whether calling someone retarded is right or not. As Christians I think we can all agree that name calling of any sort is not Christ-like. This is about whether you're gonna buy into the lib-government controlled language. They want to change/restrict language so they have a monopoly that allows them to control the thoughts of the public.

I wonder that also sainthieu. That and why they are so easily offended; bunch of hyper-sensitives.
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 05:10:05 PM »
I'm curious to know how we got to the point where everyone is supposed to have the 'right' to never be offended. It's not realistic.
+1
She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 05:11:20 PM »
Nevermind

I'd be surprised if you expected a different response.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised...

Offline ChristopherG

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 07:35:47 PM »
I believe this campaign is less about telling someone too "stop using the R word", and more about informing the general public that this word is hurtfull, especially to those who have (specifically) Downs Syndrome. I think we as Orthodox Christans, and Christians in general, should come off our "freedom of speech high horse", and be more understanding to the fact this word/description when used in the wrong context, causes unnecessary pain to a brother/sister (especially one who is mentally handicapped, etc). So in the end, what do we gain by keeping this word, or any other word used as a slur in our vocabulary? I Cor. 8:13 "For this reason, if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother."
   

Offline ilyazhito

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2011, 07:46:09 PM »
The R- word can be hurtful, but Ioannis Climacus is also right, that we are perpetuating a retarded system

Offline FormerReformer

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2011, 08:12:33 PM »
I believe this campaign is less about telling someone too "stop using the R word", and more about informing the general public that this word is hurtfull, especially to those who have (specifically) Downs Syndrome. I think we as Orthodox Christans, and Christians in general, should come off our "freedom of speech high horse", and be more understanding to the fact this word/description when used in the wrong context, causes unnecessary pain to a brother/sister (especially one who is mentally handicapped, etc). So in the end, what do we gain by keeping this word, or any other word used as a slur in our vocabulary? I Cor. 8:13 "For this reason, if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother."
   

Hey, if the article were more about not defaming one's fellow human being, I would be all for it. Our Lord tells us that anyone who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hellfire (Matt 5:22). But this article isn't about not using epithets and smears in general, it's about limiting what words we can and cannot use as epithets and smears, all because someone else other than the one you are cursing is in danger of being offended! Call your fellow man whatever derogatory word you like, so long as it doesn't offend women, homosexuals, or Corky from Life Goes On.

What I find truly appalling is that the type of people who would have us not use words which might offend the retarded is often the same type of person who upholds abortion rights on the grounds that prospective parents might not be up to the "trials" of raising a "special needs" child (special needs put in quotes, because, really, what child doesn't have special needs?).
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Offline Stephen St. Pierre

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2011, 08:27:33 PM »
Asteriktos, I'd just like to say that I think I do understand what you're trying to get at.

I would be all for not calling mentally handicapped people 'retarded' to their face or otherwise. I would never do that. But I still reserve the right to use the word in other contexts.

For example: "This television show is retarded!"; "The way we're loading this truck is just retarded," etc. Does that make any sense?

Offline ChristopherG

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2011, 09:05:01 PM »
I believe this campaign is less about telling someone too "stop using the R word", and more about informing the general public that this word is hurtfull, especially to those who have (specifically) Downs Syndrome. I think we as Orthodox Christans, and Christians in general, should come off our "freedom of speech high horse", and be more understanding to the fact this word/description when used in the wrong context, causes unnecessary pain to a brother/sister (especially one who is mentally handicapped, etc). So in the end, what do we gain by keeping this word, or any other word used as a slur in our vocabulary? I Cor. 8:13 "For this reason, if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother."
   

Hey, if the article were more about not defaming one's fellow human being, I would be all for it. Our Lord tells us that anyone who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hellfire (Matt 5:22). But this article isn't about not using epithets and smears in general, it's about limiting what words we can and cannot use as epithets and smears, all because someone else other than the one you are cursing is in danger of being offended! Call your fellow man whatever derogatory word you like, so long as it doesn't offend women, homosexuals, or Corky from Life Goes On.

What I find truly appalling is that the type of people who would have us not use words which might offend the retarded is often the same type of person who upholds abortion rights on the grounds that prospective parents might not be up to the "trials" of raising a "special needs" child (special needs put in quotes, because, really, what child doesn't have special needs?).
The "R" word campaign, is gathering steam in my hometown in South Texas. There is a commercial that goes with this campaign, and it shows a black man, saying "its not OK to call me a nigger". Then a hispanic lady saying "it's not OK to call me a spic", and it goes on and on, with other racial slurs, that I would hope dear brother, you would not find acceptable. The campaign ends with a little girl with Downs Syndrome saying "it's not OK to call me retarded". The point is Brother, the campaign is completely directed at "not defaming ones fellow human being". I hope you can look past the political, and understand this is a sincere cry for people to be compassionate, and know this word hurts. I hope and pray, that Orthodox Christians, will remove this word, as well as any and all racially slanderous words from there vocabulary's, for merely love and compassion to our brothers and sisters.   


   
   

Offline CBGardner

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2011, 09:10:06 PM »
I believe this campaign is less about telling someone too "stop using the R word", and more about informing the general public that this word is hurtfull, especially to those who have (specifically) Downs Syndrome. I think we as Orthodox Christans, and Christians in general, should come off our "freedom of speech high horse", and be more understanding to the fact this word/description when used in the wrong context, causes unnecessary pain to a brother/sister (especially one who is mentally handicapped, etc). So in the end, what do we gain by keeping this word, or any other word used as a slur in our vocabulary? I Cor. 8:13 "For this reason, if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother."
   

Hey, if the article were more about not defaming one's fellow human being, I would be all for it. Our Lord tells us that anyone who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hellfire (Matt 5:22). But this article isn't about not using epithets and smears in general, it's about limiting what words we can and cannot use as epithets and smears, all because someone else other than the one you are cursing is in danger of being offended! Call your fellow man whatever derogatory word you like, so long as it doesn't offend women, homosexuals, or Corky from Life Goes On.

What I find truly appalling is that the type of people who would have us not use words which might offend the retarded is often the same type of person who upholds abortion rights on the grounds that prospective parents might not be up to the "trials" of raising a "special needs" child (special needs put in quotes, because, really, what child doesn't have special needs?).
The "R" word campaign, is gathering steam in my hometown in South Texas. There is a commercial that goes with this campaign, and it shows a black man, saying "its not OK to call me a nigger". Then a hispanic lady saying "it's not OK to call me a spic", and it goes on and on, with other racial slurs, that I would hope dear brother, you would not find acceptable. The campaign ends with a little girl with Downs Syndrome saying "it's not OK to call me retarded". The point is Brother, the campaign is completely directed at "not defaming ones fellow human being". I hope you can look past the political, and understand this is a sincere cry for people to be compassionate, and know this word hurts. I hope and pray, that Orthodox Christians, will remove this word, as well as any and all racially slanderous words from there vocabulary's, for merely love and compassion to our brothers and sisters.   


   
   

Retarded is in no way even close to those other words you throw out. Retarded was the clinical word used up until a few years ago. Not a word that has a long history of hate for a particular group of people. I seriously doubt a downs syndrome baby has an issue with me calling my Tv retarded when it doesn't work right (though her Mom might.) Plus isn't that what a retarded person is? Someone who's brain/body doesn't work right? But something else that's not working right can't be called retarded? I don't mean this in a flippant way, I'm serious.
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Offline ChristopherG

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2011, 09:25:21 PM »
I believe this campaign is less about telling someone too "stop using the R word", and more about informing the general public that this word is hurtfull, especially to those who have (specifically) Downs Syndrome. I think we as Orthodox Christans, and Christians in general, should come off our "freedom of speech high horse", and be more understanding to the fact this word/description when used in the wrong context, causes unnecessary pain to a brother/sister (especially one who is mentally handicapped, etc). So in the end, what do we gain by keeping this word, or any other word used as a slur in our vocabulary? I Cor. 8:13 "For this reason, if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother."
   

Hey, if the article were more about not defaming one's fellow human being, I would be all for it. Our Lord tells us that anyone who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hellfire (Matt 5:22). But this article isn't about not using epithets and smears in general, it's about limiting what words we can and cannot use as epithets and smears, all because someone else other than the one you are cursing is in danger of being offended! Call your fellow man whatever derogatory word you like, so long as it doesn't offend women, homosexuals, or Corky from Life Goes On.

What I find truly appalling is that the type of people who would have us not use words which might offend the retarded is often the same type of person who upholds abortion rights on the grounds that prospective parents might not be up to the "trials" of raising a "special needs" child (special needs put in quotes, because, really, what child doesn't have special needs?).
The "R" word campaign, is gathering steam in my hometown in South Texas. There is a commercial that goes with this campaign, and it shows a black man, saying "its not OK to call me a nigger". Then a hispanic lady saying "it's not OK to call me a spic", and it goes on and on, with other racial slurs, that I would hope dear brother, you would not find acceptable. The campaign ends with a little girl with Downs Syndrome saying "it's not OK to call me retarded". The point is Brother, the campaign is completely directed at "not defaming ones fellow human being". I hope you can look past the political, and understand this is a sincere cry for people to be compassionate, and know this word hurts. I hope and pray, that Orthodox Christians, will remove this word, as well as any and all racially slanderous words from there vocabulary's, for merely love and compassion to our brothers and sisters.   


   
   

Retarded is in no way even close to those other words you throw out. Retarded was the clinical word used up until a few years ago. Not a word that has a long history of hate for a particular group of people. I seriously doubt a downs syndrome baby has an issue with me calling my Tv retarded when it doesn't work right (though her Mom might.) Plus isn't that what a retarded person is? Someone who's brain/body doesn't work right? But something else that's not working right can't be called retarded? I don't mean this in a flippant way, I'm serious.
Why are we arguing this? If parents of a mentally handicapped child ask us to stop throwing around the word "Retarded" like candy. Why can't we respect there opinion? It is obviously hurtful. What is it about this subject that does not allow us to be compassionate? Is the word so important in our vocabulary that we must fight to the death to forever preserve the word "Retarded"?

For the record it is not I, who is throwing those "other" words out there. As I stated it was a commercial, which allowed people to understand the implications of other slanderous words. I am not sure where the "N" word derives, except from maybe the Spanish word "negro" (black) but it would be interesting to find out if it started as a slanderous word, or if it was the accepted, "clinical" word if you will, then changed to an offensive word. 

Offline CBGardner

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2011, 09:41:27 PM »
I believe this campaign is less about telling someone too "stop using the R word", and more about informing the general public that this word is hurtfull, especially to those who have (specifically) Downs Syndrome. I think we as Orthodox Christans, and Christians in general, should come off our "freedom of speech high horse", and be more understanding to the fact this word/description when used in the wrong context, causes unnecessary pain to a brother/sister (especially one who is mentally handicapped, etc). So in the end, what do we gain by keeping this word, or any other word used as a slur in our vocabulary? I Cor. 8:13 "For this reason, if food is a cause of trouble to my brother, I will give up taking meat for ever, so that I may not be a cause of trouble to my brother."
   

Hey, if the article were more about not defaming one's fellow human being, I would be all for it. Our Lord tells us that anyone who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hellfire (Matt 5:22). But this article isn't about not using epithets and smears in general, it's about limiting what words we can and cannot use as epithets and smears, all because someone else other than the one you are cursing is in danger of being offended! Call your fellow man whatever derogatory word you like, so long as it doesn't offend women, homosexuals, or Corky from Life Goes On.

What I find truly appalling is that the type of people who would have us not use words which might offend the retarded is often the same type of person who upholds abortion rights on the grounds that prospective parents might not be up to the "trials" of raising a "special needs" child (special needs put in quotes, because, really, what child doesn't have special needs?).
The "R" word campaign, is gathering steam in my hometown in South Texas. There is a commercial that goes with this campaign, and it shows a black man, saying "its not OK to call me a nigger". Then a hispanic lady saying "it's not OK to call me a spic", and it goes on and on, with other racial slurs, that I would hope dear brother, you would not find acceptable. The campaign ends with a little girl with Downs Syndrome saying "it's not OK to call me retarded". The point is Brother, the campaign is completely directed at "not defaming ones fellow human being". I hope you can look past the political, and understand this is a sincere cry for people to be compassionate, and know this word hurts. I hope and pray, that Orthodox Christians, will remove this word, as well as any and all racially slanderous words from there vocabulary's, for merely love and compassion to our brothers and sisters.   


   
   

Retarded is in no way even close to those other words you throw out. Retarded was the clinical word used up until a few years ago. Not a word that has a long history of hate for a particular group of people. I seriously doubt a downs syndrome baby has an issue with me calling my Tv retarded when it doesn't work right (though her Mom might.) Plus isn't that what a retarded person is? Someone who's brain/body doesn't work right? But something else that's not working right can't be called retarded? I don't mean this in a flippant way, I'm serious.
Why are we arguing this? If parents of a mentally handicapped child ask us to stop throwing around the word "Retarded" like candy. Why can't we respect there opinion? It is obviously hurtful. What is it about this subject that does not allow us to be compassionate? Is the word so important in our vocabulary that we must fight to the death to forever preserve the word "Retarded"?

For the record it is not I, who is throwing those "other" words out there. As I stated it was a commercial, which allowed people to understand the implications of other slanderous words. I am not sure where the "N" word derives, except from maybe the Spanish word "negro" (black) but it would be interesting to find out if it started as a slanderous word, or if it was the accepted, "clinical" word if you will, then changed to an offensive word. 

My question is where does it stop? I can find someone who is scandalized and hurt by any word. Should we stop using all those? No one is arguing we shouldn't try our very best to not hurt others. But to say one can't use a regular word based off of some fringe group's hypersensitivity goes too far for me. Once retarded is defeated there will be some new word and a new one after that. It is nonsense to slap an "off-limits" sticker on some word. We should rather use our efforts to help reform those who would use that word to wound others.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: The R Word
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2011, 09:59:37 PM »
I am sympathetic to the idea of avoiding potentially offensive modes of speech as a gesture of charity, but this ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism#Euphemism_treadmill

... is becoming a serious problem in the world of mental health and probably in related sectors.
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.