Why You Should Never Use the word “Retarded” out of context

There are certain words we like to use, that we substitute for the word “stupid.”

I, however, will call you a dilly-dally-ing, incompetent nitwit, because that’s what you are. I will not call you “retarded” because that is offensive.

I would not say it to convey that you are stupid. It’s offensive to those with autism.

If you are a bumbling idiot, I also will refrain from calling you “gay.” Unless you’re a homosexual bumbling idiot. Then, maybe, I can call you gay, simply because you are. Sorry, but that shouldn’t offend you.

In the event that these words are used in place of “stupid,” I have no choice but assume you’re an incompetent nitwit/bumbling idiot. Also, to do so would be ignorant and extremely disrespectful. You are either mocking the plight of autistic members of our society or calling all gay people stupid.

Just like how I would not call someone a Pokemon master in place of the word “awesome.” While Pokemon masters CAN be awesome, we should not simply use one word in place of another. Just like how an idiot can be gay, though we should not assume a gay person to be an idiot. Do you see this logic?

It is simple taxonomy. We call things certain things because that’s what those things mean in the English language. So you cannot point out something stupid or tasteless and call it gay; instead call it “pathetic” or “stupid.” Not doing so makes you pathetic and stupid, not gay. Just because you’re ignorant and can’t identify what words mean does not mean you prefer sex with people of the same gender of you. Just like how if you like having sex with people of the same gender of you, this not make you inherently “stupid” as society leads you believe.

In a brash voice, Derek exclaimed all of this out loud but was misunderstood on account of him being surrounded by stupid people.

Should Derek simply walk away or explode into more theory fury, explaining why society is even stupid-er than we previously thought?

Or should Derek mope around and watch Game of Thrones?

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on December 21, 2011, in writer, Writing, writing advice and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Whoa. Calm down, Boy Genius! I remember when “gay” meant happy and “retarded” meant stunted (as in growth). Words change in meaning and language is a living thing because people are alive and language is their creation.

    Certain words came to be used as derogatory and insulting in certain situations when used my certain people. Language is complicated that way. I really dislike the word “stupid” because it is so judgmental and demeaning. I taught my son that it was the worse thing you could call a person.

    I’m not sure where all these posts are coming from, but something must have gotten your dander up. Slow down and think about why you are so upset about words people use and then think about how you’re using words and the effect they might be having.

    Sorry if I’m sounding a bit parental here, but “stupid” is one of those words that gets my goat, like so many other swear words and offensive words. I guess I’m the one being judgmental now! Again, sorry…

  1. Pingback: Words, Words, Words « Word Salad

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