02-15-2009, 09:51 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by Cantando
On another thread, I noticed that the word 'retard' was used in a rather casual, off-hand way, so I thought I would say something on it.
I understand the term 'retard' is commonly used in the US for someone who is mentally handicapped or as a slang term to call someone stupid. I have heard it used in American movies. I realize it may have no offensive connotations for yourself and I quite understand that.
However, here, in the UK, it has a somewhat degrading, disrespectful undertone to it and is not used in everyday language.
It is the sort of word that might be used by bullies in the playground, or by uneducated bigots, who enjoy picking on someone who is different in some way, similar to calling someone a 'cripple' or a 'mongol', but as something less, something to be ridiculed - 'they have this undesirable handicap, but I don't, so I feel superior'.
On the other hand, perhaps, there are words we use in the UK which Americans, or people from other English speaking countries, might find inappropriate. The same words can mean different things to different people.
Does it matter what words we use? Should we have the freedom to use whatever words we want in public? Does it restrict our freedom if we are told not to use certain words because a minority may consider them to be offensive? Who should decide?
Words are very enlightening. Words are an expression of self and say much about the speaker. For example, what would calling someone a retard say about the speaker?
-classifying and identifying a person, not firstly as a person,
I love words. They are indicators of the inner self but few care to look.