Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I have written before about how the words we choose carry weight & meaning, sometimes far afield from what we might intend.... but I find myself hesitant to get on a soapbox about it very often.

Today, however, I am climbing up... for a couple of reasons.

First, because the word "retarded" sucks.  If you are trying for an insult, the English language has so many alternatives... asshat & nincompoop being my personal favorites. 

Second, because today is the annual day of awareness for the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign.

What is Spread the Word you ask?
Spread the Word to End the Word is an on-going effort to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)" and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign is intended to get schools, communities and organizations to rally and pledge their support to help create communities of inclusion and acceptance for all people.

Yep, good stuff.

As a parent to a child with special needs it never gets easier hearing that word tossed around our society without thought.  Just last night husband & I were out on a date at a comedy show.  The comics were all intelligent, talented and very funny.  And yet, in the middle of the main comic's act, at the moment where he had the entire audience bent over with laughter,  he chose the word retarded in the context of "stupid".  Our smiles frozen, husband & I exchanged the look.  The one that says, yes I heard it too... ouch.  It feels exactly like getting the wind knocked out of you.  Every-Single-Time.

Please check out the Spread the Word website:

And take the pledge.
The one that says "respect" is the R-word that really matters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Right on. And I also hate the way people constantly use the expression "Duh." That also, is implying stupidity and it is said so thoughtlessly, as if not even realizing that they are making fun of people who have slower thought processes. My older daughter moves at a slower pace than most people in all she does, in everything from putting on her shoes to getting the door to doing her math. She is not unintelligent, it's just that it takes her a bit longer to get there. I can almost see the wheels turning in her head. I just have to have the patience to wait until she arrives.