Posted by ESC on November 17, 2003
In Reply to: Not all PC is bad posted by Anders 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.
See my "people first" post above.
I think you're probably right about the use of "retard." Of course, kids now use the term "gay" to mean lame, dorky, whatever. "Do you want to go to the zoo?" "Oh, that's so gay."