There's been a lot of press lately about ending the R word. I don't get too involved. An article that appeared in The Week magazine last week does a good job of expressing my view on the subject. I had to sign in to show I was a paying subscriber to see it online, so I'm not sure it'll work for anyone to click on it, but there it is just in case.
But the gist of it was this; ending the R word is all well and good but another word will just end up taking its place. "Retarded" is just the latest clinical term to be made into a slur, right along with "idiot" and "imbecile" and "moron". And I think the more we pay attention to the word and people who use it, the more power it has. I don't mean to imply that I tolerate it. Anyone who uses the term "retarded" derogitorilly around me is going to be sorry and embarrassed by the time I'm through with them. But I'm not going out of my way to work toward condoning and outlawing it for the masses, either. It's just not a battle I can muster the will to fight; another word will just take its place, eventually. Right now instead of referring to someone as "mentally retarded," we call them "developmentally delayed" or "cognitively impaired." How long do you think it'll be before kids are calling each other "developmentally delayed" in the playground?
6 days ago