Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spread the Word to . . . Keep Saying It!

Language is one of the most important inventions of humanity. It helped us truly separate ourselves from our ape ancestors, and is the medium that allows for religion, philosophy, mathematics, and science: things that have not only accelerated our intellectual evolution but helped us unlock the secrets of the universe.

There are tons of words that some people find offensive, like nigger. Fuck, some people are offended by things that aren't even slurs, like profanity! And they have every right to be offended! If you don't like it, get away from it! It is pointless to run campaigns to try to limit the language of others: you can't do it.

This is what Best Buddies is doing. They are running programs across the country to ban the word retarded. This is retarded.

The word retarded is simply that: a word. It means to delay, to make slow, or to hinder/impede. Mental retardation, which is where the slur comes from, means that the person's mental processes have been retarded: slowed. Why should I stop using the word, when it is pretty clear that it is a medical term?

In modern society, the word retarded is used as slang for stupid. It's history is based on the medical condition, yes, but that is not how it is used or meant. When I say that Glenn Beck is retarded I mean he is stupid, not that he belongs in the Special Olympics (although, that's debatable). The word is offensive because the meaning is IMPLIED. When you hear the word retard, no matter what the context, you IMPLY that is to be taken offensively. This is why I have no predispositions towards profanity. The word fuck started out as a slang term for sex. It's meaning has evolved, over time, but ultimately this is what it means. So, when I say fuck, it's not meant to be offensive: it is IMPLIED to be offensive.The word retard may be offensive to some people, but you have to understand that this is not the intended meaning.

Best Buddies has every right to campaign for ending the word, I don't disagree with that. I disagree with the principle. If you don't like the words, stay away from it, or focus on not being offended by it.

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