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Language discussion in Letters section
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chris harris
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

Bro Shark wrote:
chris harris wrote:
But, the words "retard" and "retarded" still have completely acceptable and non-offensive uses. So, I think it's a little insulting to me, as an adult, to be expected to refer to them as "the R word".


Not really. "Retard" is a verb, used in music to connote slowing tempo. It is not used much in modern, every-day language. Its common usage, as a noun, is not an actual word. It is a slang pejorative only, like "nigger."


I don't understand the "Not really" part. I said that they word has acceptable and non-offensive uses. You said, "Not really" and then immediately listed one use that I hear regularly in sessions.

I agree with you that "retard" used as a noun, is obviously offensive. That's why I think it's the context, rather than just the word itself, that is offensive.
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chris harris
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

dwlb wrote:
chris harris wrote:
dwlb wrote:
chris harris wrote:


But, the words "retard" and "retarded" still have completely acceptable and non-offensive uses.


That's so gay.


That's my point. It's the context that makes those words offensive, not the words themselves. If we're having a discussion about the offensive use of the word "gay", I'm not likely to refer to it as "the G word".

I'm not arguing in favor of the offensive use of the word "retarded".


My point is that my use of the word "gay" is no more acceptable in the "non-offensive" context in which I used it.


You used it in a context that seems inappropriate and confusing if you were indeed trying to use it in a non-offensive context.

But, if you had just returned from racing go-carts and claimed to have had a "gay time", it wouldn't be offensive at all. In fact, it's perfectly acceptable. The use of the word "gay" in a non-offensive context is fairly common in English-speaking countries outside of America.
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ubertar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

You don't have to reach that far. "Gay" is a perfectly acceptable word for "homosexual". It's when it's used as an insult that it's offensive, even when it's not intended to mean "homosexual", as in dwlb's example.
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digitaldrummer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

Bro Shark wrote:
"Retard" is a verb, used in music to connote slowing tempo.


sorry dude, that is "ritard"
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Bro Shark
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

Learn something new every day.
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ubertar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

"Retard" is a word that means "to slow down", which is where "mentally retarded" comes from in the first place. It used to be the accepted clinical term, until (and for quite a while after) it came into common use as an insult. Any clinical term or euphemism for intellectual impairment will inevitably become used as an insult, unless the word or phrase is cumbersome and decidedly un-fun to say, like "developmentally disabled". I don't think it's an accident that that's what they've come up with. Maybe someday the origin of "retarded" will be mostly forgotten, like "idiot", "moron" and "imbecile" and people will be able to use it without offending anyone other than their intended target. But not in our lifetime. Humans like to call other humans stupid, and often enough that they need a whole smorgasbord of words to do it with. Picking something for clinical use that's not at all fun to say was a wise decision.
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Brett Siler
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF1NUposXVQ
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lysander
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

Ha! I'll see your Louis CK and raise you a Michael Richards.
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dfuruta
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

One can talk about electrical retardation in the brake system of a car or something, but that's really neither here nor there. No one is getting the two usages mixed up, and I don't think whasshisname was talking about a ritardando in the interview...
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chris harris
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

dwlb wrote:
chris harris wrote:
dwlb wrote:
chris harris wrote:


But, the words "retard" and "retarded" still have completely acceptable and non-offensive uses.


That's so gay.


That's my point. It's the context that makes those words offensive, not the words themselves. If we're having a discussion about the offensive use of the word "gay", I'm not likely to refer to it as "the G word".

I'm not arguing in favor of the offensive use of the word "retarded".


My point is that my use of the word "gay" is no more acceptable in the "non-offensive" context in which I used it.


That context was offensive.

Found this today: http://www.upworthy.com/if-your-friends-are-using-this-3-letter-word-you-may-need-to-stage-an-intervention-2
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ubertar
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

If I'm not mistaken, dwlb put "non-offensive" in quotes to indicate both that, yes, that context is offensive, and that there is a sizable group of people who (wrongly) don't think it is.
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apropos of nothing
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

Worth pointing out that George Takei has offered his surname for replacement of all uses of the word "gay." (Also worth mentioning that the proper pronunciation rhymes therewith.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Takei#cite_ref-45
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Jon~T
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

Fritatta works well.
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JGriffin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:49 am    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

ubertar wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, dwlb put "non-offensive" in quotes to indicate both that, yes, that context is offensive, and that there is a sizable group of people who (wrongly) don't think it is.


Exactly.
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vvv
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Language discussion in Letters section Reply with quote

It's an interesting thing, is political correctness, and I throw this out just academically, not meaning to be at all offensive, but sometimes I think someone or some thing is macho or "muscle-headed", and sometimes I think a thing might be "geeky", sometimes "dooshy", and sometimes I think a thing might be, eh, "Takei".

And yes, words like "retarded" or "gay" are often pejorative in use and even when not might be offensive to someone of particular sensitivity, but, for example, I can't describe (:picks universal symbolic figure:) Liberace's demeanor more accurately in any other way. Or at least as simply ...

I think the offensive part actually comes in the widespread use of a short-hand term that implies negativity regarding properties of something that are not necessarily specifically part of the descripitive; the words are used to perpetuate stereotype, criticism and even dislike and hate.

My point? That there is social baggage attached to certain phrases that require us, to be politically correct, to not use them, even when they are semi-accurate or better descriptives.

Or am I just dooshy? Twisted Evil
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