Can we get rid of "retard" next?

I would very much like to be done with the term here.

Note that I am not referring to fire-retardant material or he retarded the spark on his old jalopy, but rather to insults like you are a retard, that sounds retarded, and even fucktard.

We can’t (and shouldn’t) insult someone by calling them a nigger, and we likely can’t insult them by calling them a cunt, so I don’t see how retard is any different. IMO, You are mentally retarded and You ride the short bus should also be eliminated.

We have rules against slurs based on race, gender, or sexuality, and rules against personal insults outside the Pit. Beyond that, I personally am not big on language policing. The word “retard” has become very uncool in recent years and most of us wouldn’t use it, but if we adopt your suggestion then what’s to prevent words like “idiot” and “imbecile” from being on the banned words list next?

Who really cares if they are? But idiot and imbecile aren’t nearly as narrowly defined in the public mind as retard, and neither carries the same baggage or the same level of denigration.

If we’re doing slippery slopes, maybe we shouldn’t have restricted the use of any slurs since that opened the door to banning anything.

The problem is, calling someone a fuckiot or fuckbecile just doesn’t have the same punch!

For clarification is there a difference between:

  • He is retarded.


  • He is a retard.

Not if it’s being used as an insult, there isn’t.

I agree with Wolfpup but, personally, I avoid name calling because it isn’t an effective form of debate. If I’m going to affect change in people’s thinking, I’m not going to do it by calling them names and making them angry. My only chance is to deliver a powerful argument that clearly outlines the fault in their thinking or attitudes.

Then I really need to go with George Carlin on this one. Context is everything. We must consider how the word was used and the speaker’s intent and not just ban a word outright.

Did you even read the OP?

Sure. What’s your point?

I don’t understand the objection. Personal insults are banned, so even using a tame word like “idiot” might get a warning if you’re using it as just “You are an idiot”. And rightly so IMO.

OTOH, saying “that’s an idiotic view” or whatever is normally fine.

So…I guess I’m not really getting what difference the OP thinks there is with the word “retard” and what new status it needs?

Personal insults are not banned everywhere, and they’re not necessarily banned when used against off-board people. As a slur, retard ought to be.

It’s not so much about name-calling against a debate opponent, which would only apply in the Pit anyway, but about the range of expressive language available in describing, say, a despised and particularly stupid politician or other public figure. Again, I’m not specifically defending the use of “retard” in particular, which I think is in bad taste, but just saying that we have to be careful about introducing more and more arbitrary rules about language use.

As the parent of an adult with physical and mental disabilities, I shudder to see Americans using ‘retard’ in such an offhand fashion. Especially to describe people who are effectively neurotypical, but belong to a different belief system or behave in different ways to the speaker.

We stopped using ‘spastic’ a long time ago as a slur; ‘retard’ is overdue its welcome.

I, personally, don’t think that anyone should use retard or retarded when discussing people. OTOH, I don’t have an issue with calling some things retarded. Maybe it’s just me but there is not a huge difference between saying “that idea is retarded” and "and that idea is not fully developed ".

If we stop saying “retard” is saying “mentally deficient” or “mentally challenged” or “slow” better?

Are euphemisms the way to sidestep disliked words? Is a silk covered dagger ok where a plain dagger is not?

Other than the inherent punching down toward a marginalized and often mistreated minority for the way they were born.

Agreed. There’s no need for it; we aren’t 12.

So we find another word that still means “You’re really stupid and I am angry at you/hate you for being that way” and in a few years the developmentally disadvantaged are claiming the new word is offensive so we have to find another one.

Like it or not, the concept that being extremely stupid (regardless of reason) is a bad thing and people displaying those traits aren’t held in high regard isn’t going to go away just because one of the words describing that state of affairs ends up on the banned list at a niche messageboard

I’m the parent of a special needs kid and, while I’ve stopped using the word, I’m not really supportive of language policing and would rather people reach that point through some route other than mod slaps.