Those of you who know me well know that sometimes, especially in the car, my mouth gets the best of me (although the worst of it usually is not in English, but my kids still know I am saying something I shouldn’t). However, there is a word that I absolutely hate to hear. It is the word “retarded.” Since this is Spread the Word to End the Word Day, I thought I would share this with you all.
When I was a little girl, I lived next door to a boy with Down Syndrome. His mother had him late in life, and she was always known to me as “Grandma” and is still one of the most influential people of my lifetime even though she passed away 15 years ago this month. Dirk, her son, was one of my very first playmates, and I loved him dearly.
As I grew older, I would hear the “r” word used by some boys on my bus. Needless to say, I was very vocal on my opinion of their choice in words. To me, it was intolerable and showed ignorance on their part. Nowadays, I hear the word “retarded” used as a synonym for stupid. It still makes me mad. My host daughters have come home using that word because they heard it at school, and I have told them that it is an unacceptable word in my house.
The English language is rich in other words that mean stupid. We don’t need to use words that hurt. Moreover, we need to be more accepting of those who are different from us. I don’t use my blog as a soapbox that often, but this is something that I feel needs to be said. Please spread the word. There are better words to use than the “r”word.