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Not all PC is bad

Posted by Anders on November 17, 2003

In Reply to: Re: The R-word posted by SR on November 17, 2003

: : Last night during a retrospective on the year 1986 on the VH-1 cable channel, they censored the word "retarded". This was in a reference to the TV show LA Law, which featured an actor playing a retarded office assistant at the fictional Mackenzie-Brackman law firm. The person who was censored then continued her comment, using the phrase "mentally challenged", which was not censored.

: There was a little old man... sorry! There was a vertically challenged, chronologically advanced person... Political Correctness is everywhere!!

I wonder if "retard" has become offensive because it has become a term of abuse? When you consider the etymology, it's almost PC. From M-W: "Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French retarder, from Latin retardare, from re- + tardus slow."
I once had a friend - or so I thought (but that's long story...) - who used the expression a lot. Indeed, he would often say just 'tard, like this. "That 'tard, you mean? Oh, man, he's such a re-tard!" Although generally opposed to PC, I am in favour of it when it comes to euphemizing handicaps and the like.
Anders