I'm very surprised that so many people are so offended. Has anyone used the "r" word to refer to mentally disabled people in the last...I don't know, 20 years? It's certainly not a term that I would ever use to refer to someone with handicaps.
But, I can certainly empathise. Even though I don't totally understand, I am certainly sympathetic to your feelings, which I never intended to hurt. Heck, just a few days ago, I was talking to someone and she used the term "dot-heads" to refer to Indian people, and it was definitely used in a hateful manner, as in, "I did an online chat instead of the phone call because I don't like talking to those dot-heads." I was shocked. Unfortunately, all I could babble was a sarcastic, "Gee, that's a nice thing to say." When this woman used it again a few minutes later, I said very sharply, "I do NOT like that," and of course she was all confused and asked me what I didn't like. I said something lame like, "Calling people names," which was pretty weak of me. I should have told her that, even though I am neither Hindu nor Indian, that term offends me and I find it disgusting and hateful and I do not want to be around that kind of hatred and intolerance.
Guess what I'm trying to say that I think the intention behind the word is more important than the word itself. When someone uses a word with hatred behind it, it's just different. I'm not trying to let myself off the hook here at all. There are a lot of words that I never use (I don't even sing the "n" word when I am warbling along to Jay-Z in the car; and the few times I have sung it, it has always very quietly and I still felt guilty). But I also think people are sometimes very, very sensitive to any little thing, when the intention was certainly not to put down or hurt.
Really, I just wanted to vent a little about how ridiculously f-ed up, snail's pace, bass-ackwards, let's-see-how-much-we-can-complicate-things crazy state is. My apologies if that word hurt anyone.
I'm not offended or annoyed by you Frizzle. Just that people use retarded in that context. I used to say retarded when I meant something was stupid before I started this job almost 5 years ago now. I never really thought anything of it, because it never connected in my head to anyone that has mental retardation. I would have never in my life made fun of anyone like that. But, starting my job made me realize what i was doing by using that type of slang. Perhaps this thread will get people thinking about what words they are actually saying when they use slang and where those words came from.
And I said before in my first post on here, mental retardation is still used as a term for people with developmental disabilities. However, people in this field are moving away from it because of the negativity around that term. Also, as I said before (just restating myself so that perhaps more people will see), this field (that I and my clients are a part of) is called MH/MR. Which stands for mental health/mental retardation.
I did not take offense to the use of the R word in the title of the OP. And I did not see her using it in a mean way.
I myself is mentally challenged, a bit slow, march to the beat of a different drummer, use what ever word you want.
I would not get so upset if all of us were having this conversation in person, face to face. So I am handing out an olive branch. Arguing via BB is silly and we are ALL above this.
Water under the bridge everyone? I don't hold grudges. Just because we all don't see eye to eye on this topic I hope that in the future we can help each other out if necessary. I enjoy coming on to these boards and learning new things and helping other people out.