Monday, November 24, 2014

The "R" Word

If there is one word in all of the English language that really grates on my nerves it's the word retard. It bothers me more than hearing people say warsh or ain't. No kidding. And to hear one of my students call someone a retard or retarded is the most offensive thing anyone could ever do.

The Merriam-Webster definition of retard is as follows:


 verb \ri-ˈtärd\
: to slow down the development or progress of (something)

Full Definition of RETARD

transitive verb
:  to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment :  impede
:  to delay academic progress by failure to promote
When did it become socially acceptable to say that about a person? To say someone is being hindered or held back from making progress is ok? I admit I'm hypersensitive about it since I teach students with disabilities. Does it matter if a kid has a documented disability? We all have our strengths and weaknesses. There is no need to call someone something so derogatory as retarded to make yourself feel better about yourself. How does that even make someone feel good about themselves? That screams insecurity and ignorance.

How do we combat this trend? Perhaps this flow chart from the Military Special Needs Network I discovered will help.

How do you feel about this word? Is there another word that really grinds your gears when you hear it?

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