“That’s So Retarded” – Why I Stopped Saying This, And You Should Too.

stop saying retarded down syndrome bad word

I’m a work in progress. Every day of my life I hope I’m a better person than the day before. My life is a process of taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back but hey, 1 step forward is still a step forward. So I’ll take it.

“Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones But Words Will Never Hurt Me” = One Of The Most Inaccurate Sayings Of All Time

Let me just be very honest for a minute, prior to our son being born I used the word “retarded” flippantly. I would use phrases like “that’s so retarded,” “don’t be retarded,” or “man…I’m so retarded” from time to time without even thinking that I was using discriminatory language (or hate speech) toward an entire group of people.

As the parent of a child with Down syndrome and someone passionate about people with Down syndrome, this is especially disappointing to me. To be honest, before I became the parent of a child with special needs over a decade ago I didn’t know those words are as hurtful as they are.

Thankfully I know better now.

The “R-Word” Is Hurtful

After our son was born I quickly learned how hurtful and discriminatory the word “retard / retarded” is. There is even an entire organization called “Spread the Word” They actually put out one of the most powerful videos I’ve ever seen on this top. I remember my jaw hitting the floor when I saw this short, 30 second, PSA for the first time. Please take 30 seconds and watch it. I promise you’ll think about the word “retarded” in a whole new light.

I really wish someone earlier in my life would have taken the time to tell me about the use of this word, and why I shouldn’t use it. I would have stopped immediately.

When I hear people use the word “retarded” I try to take a moment to help them understand why they shouldn’t. I’m always very gracious about it because I know the most people don’t mean anything hurtful by it, and they certainly aren’t trying to insult my son or others with intellectual disabilities. In fact there have been a few times where I didn’t say anything simply because I didn’t want to make the person feel bad. I think many people simply don’t know how hurtful and disrespectful the “r-word” can be, and simply need someone to help education.

But since there is a large community of readers behind this blog I thought I would take a moment to help educate anyone reading this why they too should help “end the word.”

Why You Should Stop Using “Retarded”

I pulled this info from the spread the word website which gives more than a few reasons why I cut the word “retarded” out of my vocabulary and you should too.

  • The R-word is exclusive
  • The R-word ignores individuality
  • The R-word equated intellectual disability with being “dumb” or “stupid”
  • The R-word spreads hurt
  • The R-word is offensive
  • The R-word is incorrect
  • The R-word is derogatory
  • The R-word fosters loneliness
  • The R-word is hate speech (Ouch! I had no idea I was using hate speech all this time!)

Sign The Pledge To Stop Using “The R-Word”

Spread the word to end the word is doing a campaign where you can pledge to

….support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

I believe that all people are created in the image of God, are valuable, and deserve to be spoken about in respectful and loving ways. I know it would be very hurtful if someone called my son “a retard”or if someone used that word to describe something foolish they did (therefore implying that my son is foolish.)

If you agree with me, I’d encourage you to take 2 minutes and sign the pledge.

Do you sometimes use the word “retarded” in jest? (It’s ok to say so, as I mentioned I used to do the same thing.) If so, do you see “the R-word” differently after this post, and do you think you will try hard to remove the use of that word as a “slag word?” Will you sign the pledge above? Leave a comment below and let us know. 

Note this post was originally published on March 6, 2013

Don't Miss A Post!

Enter your email address and be the first to know when a new post is published.

About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.


  1. Thanks Rick,
    Never thought of the words, “duh” and “lame” before in this context. Where was my occupational therapist brain? A thoughtful and thought-provoking blog post as usual!

    • I think this is retarded… the term is directly offensive as the ignorance of the offended…

      • Wow. What a repulsive and immature thing to say. Why even be on this page? Is your life that miserable that you have nothing more positive and loving to say? I’ll pray for your sad, tormented soul.

        • Gofuckyourself says

          You decide To be offended. You’re weak and allow others to manipulate your stupid ass feelings. Grow up.

          • Calling people “weak” or “stupid” is just as bad as calling this post retarded.

            Guys control your feelings.

            • If you’re offended by Retarded you should be EVEN MORE offended buy GUYS and using the word for men and WOMEN and not use it yourself you hypocrite!

          • c;ean up your name. it too is offensive.

            • No story,. I had a stroke 2 years ago that left my arm and hand disabled. I get a lot of ” pity stares”. I have a lot of empathy for babies and parents like you who care enough to make a difference.

              • No story,. I had a stroke 2 years ago that left my arm and hand disabled. I get a lot of ” pity stares”. I have a lot of empathy for babies and parents like you who care enough to make a difference.

          • I have autism, and I am not offended one bit. Retard used to mean slow down. Just like gay used to mean happy.

            • Thank you. Thought retarded meant delayed. What is wrong with that?

            • Yeah, but nobody means happy when they refer to you as gay, and that’s not remotely the same. Gay isn’t a slur it’s a sexual orientation. And if somebody calls you retarded, they’re not telling you to slow dpwn they’re using a slur. What a word used to mean doesn’t make any difference and is totally irrelevant. Plus, I am on the autism spectrum as well but we’re not really part of the group that hears this. A lot of people can’t tell the difference between someone with autism and someone without autism. Nobody really realizes I’m on the spectrum and I my best friends sister is on the more noticeable end but people think she has something similar to down syndrome, not autism. Unless you stim by more noticeable things like hand flapping people probably juat think you’re being intentionally rude 95% of the time
              Plus social constructs can be learned and you could probably blend in if you made an effort to be able to read peoplw better and focus on what you say. People with Down Syndromw are much more noticeable, and there are mobs of people who don’t know autism even exists. Autism is for the most part an invisible disability and we have our own problems but thia one isn’t usually one of them and we don’t have a say here. When someone uses the word retarded they’re almost exclusively thinking about down syndrome. Besides, what is nothing to you can still be a world of hurt for someone else.

          • u r retarded says

            I agree

        • I find it actually very immature of you to call this guy immature. Everyone has a right to say or type as they feel and you cannot be a biased one-sided viewer. To some, it may be just a word, to others, it may be like acid…The point is you really need to lighten up in life, bud.:)

      • Seriously I cant belive this yyallare the offspring of spicks and half retarded niggers.

        • @andrew, do you really think you’re going to offend someone with pixelated markings on a screen

          @retarded, if you honestly feel superiority from shaming a proud father and wonderful child, i would reconsider your fucking priorities

        • OneAmongMany says

          You nasty little gutter rat.

        • Emily_SHS says

          Whats wrong with being a spick, I’m a spick, does that mean I’m retarded.My brother has down syndrome and i am very offended by the word retarded no matter how many people love there will always be those who feel like he is a disgrace or he is stupid……this is for all of u out there who think he is dumb, he is the smartest kid in his class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Completely agree with you. If people are going to say the word retarded is offensive then they also need to take a look at the words moron, stupid, dumb, lame, and idiot. All were once used by the medical community and now are just different ways of calling someone not smart. These words are not directed at the mentally handicapped anymore. The mentally handicapped aren’t even diagnosed as being mentally retarded so they shouldn’t ever feel they are. The medical community stopped using the words moron and idiot because they were used in negative ways, which is why they don’t use the word retarded anymore. Retarded was originally the replacement word. People should stop wasting their time trying to stop people from making them feel an emotion. You’re going to feel negative emotions throughout your lifetime no matter what you do. You can either let it bring you down or you can choose to ignore it and grow stronger from it. If you choose to let it bring you down that is your own fault.

        • We should be using respectful words to everyone, period.

          • I’m offended by all the words in your message, so please stop using them all. It’s really disrespectful in my opinion, and of course you have to adapt to not hurt my feeling, and not the other way around, right. That’s the way you want it! 😀
            We should just remove all words, that way we can’t be offended by words!

        • Very well said.

      • Well I use to use the word retarded to. But after having a child with down syndrome trisomy 21 it explains that there is retardation in them. So I don’t take the word offensive. Cause in reality is their diagnosed with some or depending on the severity of it. I know he is the best thing that happened in our lives. Made me look at things differently. I wouldn’t change it for the world he showed me how to love like no other and how amazing they truly are. So I’m a go back with the whole sticks and stones may break your bones but words I’m never hurt me. Is majority of them can do their jobs better then people with out.

    • Wow, this has gotten so twisted out of proportion!

      We are not calling mentally handicapped people retards, we are calling fully functional people retards because they should be able to do better!

      The fully functional people are the only ones that should be offended by this!! Because we are saying they cannot comprehend the world as a non handy capped induvidual!!

      Never would I use that phrase to insult anyone I thought might have ANY cognitive disabilities.

      • Qweyrirkrns says

        Yes so in that way I think that some of the things said on this page are awful for targeting specific people even if it’s people you don’t know buy call a person you know retarded is just letting them know what they did was stupid. It does in NO way say that we associate people with mental or physical disabilities like that retarded has now changed its meaning into almost a synonym for stupid or dumb and honestly all words that are negative in connotation have to start with some minority and that’s impossible to eliminate bc people will always be different

      • Mike Honcho says

        Exactly. Down syndrome and retarded are not in the same league. For example, someone posted on Nextdoor, about how both her husband and son had firearms stolen our of their unlocked cars parked on the street in front of their houses. Hence, I referred to them as “retards” albeit not directly. An irresponsible gun owner such as this should be ostracized and publicly ridiculed. Please, someone tell me the politically correct word for someone like this. Asshat? Dipshit? Idiot seems too gentle.

    • I thunk that people will need to think more deeply about WHY this word is bad. They should discover that it isn’t inherently evil. People are only considering to be bad because it’s been used in ways they don’t like. Retarded is not a bd word. Its from Italian meaning “slower”. This may seem bad, but just look at the word disabled. DIS – Abled. That word INHERENTLY means that they are not able to function normally whereas retarded means they are impeded slightly by their genetic mutation.

      You should probably consider words more deeply before deciding tht they are bad. I bet in 20 years, people will go on about how the word disabled is bad and then find a new pet word.

  2. I love this so much! I’ve never thought of the “R-word” as badly as I do right now. It’s also been a term to just describe a foolish mistake, but I really see your point. I was definitely extremely appalled after watching the video, and I pledge to try not to say the word anymore. The sooner the world cuts this word out, the better. By the way, your son Noah is so adorable and you can’t help falling in love with him the first time you see him! He just a certain light in his eyes that makes him the cutest kid ever! 🙂

    • Leigh Smith says

      People use the word retarded to describe something dumb and stupid. It started when people would call mentally handicapped people retarded because they were thought to be dumb and stupid. Even using the word now is a direct stab at the handicapped. There are certain words that just should not be said. This is one of them.

      • Actually, retard means slow, as in slow progression of the brain, so that is why it has grown to be offensive. In music, retard means to slow down, and many people laugh at this when they see it, which is very wrong and ignorant. So, saying retard is like calling someone, or yourself for, slow-progressing which is very offensive.

        • I have no idea how old this is, but this shows that the word “retard” is completly inaccurate to use to describe/slur people with Down Syndrome (As their brain progression may be slow, but more importantly it is limited in capability. Its not a matter of speed of learning, its about its a matter of limited cognitive function)

      • Stephie Vee says

        Well said.

  3. I think the 30 sec video is apples to oranges and context does matter. The word retarded has a meaning,
    “to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede. ”
    Calling a disabled child that would be insulting but using the term in other ways is not, (in my opinion. The context and way we use words make them offensive, not necessarily the word itself. By the way, my nephew,uncle, and son to be are and will be disabled.
    Just my thought and I respect your point of view also.

    • I completely agree with you, it is your intent when you use words that could be offensive. If I walked up to this author’s son and called him that name, it was my intent to insult him, which I would never do.

      We really need to come to grips with these word games we play or pretty soon we’ll all just need to find other ways to communicate without saying a word.

    • This is exactly how I feel about this word. To make slow, etc… I understand that the slang for the word is very hurtful, but rarely do I ever hear it used in such a way. Personally, I rarely if ever use the word, but I am not insulted when people use it with the meaning of being slow. In my opinion, every single human on this planet is slow in one form or another. It can apply to all of us.

      My son was born with Down Syndrome and he is well respected by all. He will be entering the sixth grade this year and has numerous typical friends. My son is amazing and yes, he’s slow in many ways, but he sure can figure out electronics way better than I can, so I’m slow, too. By the way, Noah is adorable and you are wonderful parents. Thanks for sharing.

      • “To make slow”. Sometimes when you confront someone using “retard” they fall back on that definition to defend themselves. But they are easily corrected. Because they used “retard” as an adjective or a noun while “to make slow” would be a verb. Once that evidence it pointed out to them, they usually fess up.

    • Janet, I understand what you are trying to say but I never hear someone using that word in a serious way as you describe. It is always used as mockery. Comparing a foolish act or person to another person who has a disability. Please give me an example of how you use the word in a way that is not implying that a person with a disability is foolish or stupid. Thanks.

      • psiEnergos says

        I’ll give you a few:

        – Retarding the ignition timing a few degrees will suffice.
        – In rabbits the same technique was unsuccessful, with denudation actually retarding recovery threefold ( Buehler and Newman 1964 ).
        – The corticosteroid hormones which are often used to treat the kidney disease may also retard growth.
        – An attempt to go directly from TA to OA publishing will only retard the growth of OA for another needless decade.
        – Perhaps it was the over-riding 19th century belief in Progress which did thus retard the assumptive values of the field of still photography.

        As you can see, when used as a verb (as it was meant to be), and not improperly as a noun, there is nothing offensive about it (just because you haven’t personally witnessed it being used correctly, doesn’t mean people don’t do it every day regardless) . It’s simply a word, and a very common one at that. Because people have misused it is not cause to ‘ban’ said word. work to correct the misuse, and stop being so narrow minded (banning a word due to it’s misuse is tantamount to banning a hammer because too many people hit their thumbs!). If the word bothers you even when used properly, then don’t use it, but ‘bans’ are just dumb.

        BTW: This article was pretty clear about the elimination of the ‘derogatory’ use of the word (i.e. noun), to this I very much agree, it’s just not nice a nice thing to call anyone. But I don’t really think the author is out to ‘ban’ a word, simply the use of it as a noun. 😉

        • Thank you! A very excellent and accurate comment. The use of retard as a noun has always highlighted the users deficiencies versus the persom the user is trying to insult. A person cannot BE a retard any more than a person can be a run, a jump, or a sit 🙂 Really we should view those who use retard as a noun with pity, they have obviously not had access to elementary education.

    • I agree that it should NEVER be said to someone with a developmental disability, and I agree that one should never refer to someone with an actual disability as retarded, however if, as many of you have pointed out it’s not a correct description of those that are mentally handicapped or developmentally delayed and that it really doesn’t apply to those people it makes the point sort of moot. What you are saying is, “society has taken a word and applied it to someone I love. however, it’s not true, that is not this how this person is so not only should you not use that word to describe my loved one, you also should not use the word at all.”
      Clearly, retarded is a word that has several definitions that make it appropriate to use in certain situations. The words stated in the video are made up words purposely used for offending someone/a group of people. This word has been used incorrectly and in an offensive way, and I don’t think anyone disagrees that it should not be used in that way anymore. But to say we can’t use that word in any situation or use lame (which has many definitions) and duh (is Doh! better?) seems ridiculous and overly sensitive to me. That would be like saying I can’t use gay as a synonym for happy anymore either… it’s not often used that way, but it IS still correct usage of the word.
      I’m sorry, but if you don’t give words power, they have no power.

    • justme I agree with you. I don’t think it’s a word I regularly use, but I believe I’ve said it and others I know do as well. It all depends on ones use of the word.
      When looking it up in the Webster Miriam dictionary, this is one of the meanings:

      : to slow down the development or progress of (something)”

      There is nothing derogatory about the above sentence, nor should anyone interpret it that way. I think as a society we have become far too sensitive and people must walk on eggshells for fear of insulting someone. Earlier this month I read a post (near April Fools Day) that stated how insensitive it is to post a joke on FB that you are pregnant, because think of all the women trying to conceive that can’t, or have miscarried, etc.
      Then, a couple of weeks after that it was National Siblings Day. All day I watched my FB friends post photos of their brothers and sisters and how much they love them.I have no siblings, and my younger sister passed away after heart surgery as an infant. Did the posts make me a little sad? Of course. But do I expect others to NOT put them up for fear of hurting of someone like me? Well of course not!!
      I think we all need to lighten up a little. Unless something is blatantly rude or done with the intent of hurting someone, just let it pass.

      • I agree with you. To be honest, I refer to my dog as being “retarded”, but in our relationship it has come to have a meaning of endearment. I would never apply the term to a human being.

        The thing I find so redicules about this arguement is that some time in the near future, those that were once called idiots, then mentally retarded, moving to mentally challenged, and currently referred to as Intellectually or developmentally disabled, or differently abled will someday be refered to by a new term making the acceptable, unacceptable, again.
        Current culture states that It’s no longer Hispanicsl, but latino. It’s no longer negro, but African American, and then Black, and now Black African American.
        While I understand the concern when this term is used in discussing an individual, how I refer to my dog should not earn me a 10 minute lecture from an individual that has never dealt with the joy of being “original”; the term used in my house hold. You see, I don’t believe in disabilities, I believe that some people are not “cookie cutter” people; they are original, and that’s what makes them so special.
        My belief comes from personal experience since my dad, my son and I all sit somewhere on the Autism Spectrum.

        • james doglasse says

          Bamm. You nailed it. And your position mirrors mine. High functioning, can just past for “normal” but usually don’t.

  4. I totally agree. Everyone I know uses that word to describe something/someone stupid, but they don’t really think about it.

  5. I just hate the R word.

  6. I totally agree. My adult brother has special needs and i have always corrected my friends when they say “That’s so Retarded!” It hurts to hear these words. I am amazed how ignorant people can be. You know your true friends when they correct their behavior.

  7. Caroline Linakakei Bricker says

    It just makes my tummy do flip-flops when I hear some one use the “R” word…I have 5 kids & 2 of them have ADHA; and the are both special needs, but they are the most loving & caring boy to me in the world! Also the younger of the 2 is blind in his left eye & half way in his right eye! And I just don’t understand why so many people want to use the “R” word…If only there was away that we could take these words some where they couldn’t ever be used again! Thank you so much for this video clip! Have a great night!

  8. Hey,
    I just wanted to let you know how completely beautiful this website is, your articles are amazing and moving. That video gave me goose bumps… I want to thank you for putting into words what I could not express to my friends about hurting special needs kids even when they didn’t mean to.
    So thank you, so much.

    Ps. Your son is so beautiful 🙂

  9. Herp Derp says

    You’re all retarded.

    • Your’re really immature…. It’s sad you have to use a fake name to put something so hateful on here. It’s ok though god is watching 🙂

    • Heather Light says

      Hi my name is Heather Light. I have some special needs. So hearing the “R” Word is really really hurts my feelings. So please stop using it. From Heather Light.

    • If you do not like it, do not read it.

    • Kate Glauser says

      And you are an undereducated poor soul who has no idea how to use the gift of language to properly express yourself.

      I always tell my kids, one of whom has special needs, that communicating properly is a lost art and that is shows more intelligence to speak your point while refraining to lower yourself to include vulgarities. Those who have not had the proper education will revert to vulgarities as a means to get their point across because they know no better. Point in case, your missive!

  10. I have a daughter with DS and I’ve never really been offended by the R word. I’ve always used it loosely. (Not so much now to not offend) And many people I know do. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Learning slower than average has never been a negative thing to me. I think we ALL fall under the description of that word in different areas of our lives. I hate the the DS community is so offended by it. I wish we could teach these beautiful children not to be offended by it. Its just a word, and honestly, being “that” isnt a bad thing. But that’s just me.

  11. Pamela Dye says

    I appriciate this blog post very much..in fact I check lots of your posts out. I have a 6 year old (Jasmine) who experiences downs syndrome also. I too used this word without thought for many years and do not use it anymore, but the change has not been easy, in fact I feel for people when they use it and do not mean anything bad by it. When you have a child with a disaility who lives with a part of their brain being “retarded” or slowed in the learning process it hurts in a different way than can really be explained in words to really help others understand. Like I sid though, the change is hard. I once made a terrible mistake ..when Jasmine was about 3, she was being really silly while she was playing on the floor and I laughed and said to her “Oh Jasmine, you are so retarded”…as soon as it came out of my mouth I gasped and asked for forgiveness…I also made a commitment as punishment to myself to educate others every time someone used it in a derogitory manner. It is important to educate with love and not to condem or create hurt feelings. I also am a college student and I have written many a paper and since I was in a public speaking class at the time, my final speach was about the R word. It seems like just a word, but it cant hurt to pick another one if this one hurts anybody…there are enough other choices in the english language….I hope others will try.

    • Lisa Van Drese says

      I hear from a lot of people that it is only a word, or they believe in freedom of speech. I, too, used the word a lot without meaning to offend anyone. When my son was born with Ds, I started to look for resources and came across the campaign to end the word. I didn’t understand until people with challenges explained why it offended them. I try not to judge when I hear it from others, but I do explain that it is offensive and there are a ton of other words that they can use that will not offend. You can stop punishing yourself, because you obviously learned something from that experience, and it has made you a better person. Thanks for sharing your story. If we all work together, it will happen one day.

  12. maybe i should print this out and give it to a person i know who constantly uses’s this word … she’s immature on so many level’s always offend’s me when she uses that word then i tell her to stop and she doesnt get it…

  13. I am so ashamed that I EVER used this word…I am even embarrassed to admit that it was once a “habit” of mine. I used it, like you, without even thinking about what it really means. How ignorant of me. I will join you in pledging to “end-the-word” and to educate others as well. Thanks for posting!

  14. I agree that a polite person would try to eliminate offensive speech from their vocabulary. But it is important to know that this word was NOT always considered hate speech & to be gentle letting older people know that it is currently considered so. When my Mom was growing up, developmentally disabled individuals were grouped as idiots, imbeciles & morons. When I was young they were referred to as mentally retarded with subgroups referring to how independent they were expected to eventually become. I even belonged to a service group, formerly a part of United Way, called YARC (Youth Association For Retarded Citizens) where we put on parties, took groups of disabled young adults bowling & worked our local Special Olympics. By all means, try to educate the public & police yourselves regarding hate speech, but realize that acceptable usage changes over time & be gentle with the elderly when doing so.

    • Sheila from Bama says

      This is an “in” word with the younger generation and LOTS of people don’t understand why it is offensive to others. My son had a son when he was only 17 and soon afterwards had the word “RETARD” tattooed onto his ankle. He and his friends were always calling each other retarded or retard-just casual ribbing of youth, and I think my son was kind of proud of it? But turns out his son (who is now 6) has autism. Indeed it gives a whole new perspective to the word! But if you ever saw the movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes”, one of the kids had an arm severed in an accident, and his “godmother” started calling him “Stump!” She said that everyone else would do it and if they were the ones that started it it would be less hurtful. I don’t really agree totally with her philosophy but can UNDERSTAND her way of thinking! I guess I don’t mind the word itself unless it is used as a slang and want to keep from sensitizing my grandson to it. We all do things/say things sometimes without thinking of how others might take it. In a time of so much “politically correct sensitivity,” it seems we all should try to be a little less egocentric?

  15. As an autistic bibliophile, I believe that some words were not meant to be used.

  16. I’ll admit, I used to use it A LOT. It was a word that was used so frequently growing up. When I was in college, I began to realize the problem with using it. When I became a Special Education TA, I was ashamed of myself.

    I’ve worked REALLY hard to drop it from my vocabulary. I do catch myself say it from time to time, but I think it is when I hear it. I just revert to old bad habits.

    I have a co-worker who uses it incessantly and when she does, I realize how much I’ve stopped using it because I whip my head around when I hear it. Every time. I’m just not used to hearing it anymore. But from time to time, I catch myself repeating it.

    It’s a constant effort to change habits, whether it’s language, diet and exercise or biting your nails. (I’ve failed at all of these!) But if you work at it, you’ll succeed. You just have to WANT to change.

  17. I don’t use this word because I was called it for my disablites and it hurt and I wont hurt other how I was hurt.

  18. My family finds the term offense, because it is generally used in a negative connotation – even if the person using it does not intentionally mean to insult someone personally. Many have used it in the past without realizing it is discriminatory, but when most people have a child or other family member with a intellectual disability, it hits home and we realize how hurtful it is to the individual and their family and friends. It is insulting and falls into the same category as racial slurs – we may have grown up not realizing how very inappropriate and hurtful they were to use, but as a society most of us have
    come to understand how unacceptable they are in a civilized world. I urge folks to think a little more about the effect before they throw the word around carelessly. As parents we need to set a better example for our children, including putting a stop to bullying in our schools and communities. No child deserves to be bullied. And, keep up the good work Noah. we are proud of you.

  19. Cheryl Lund says

    i have learned thru my own experience not to use the “R” word. I have a son who is diagnosed with “moderate retardation”. I have written before regarding my sons disability which includes skeletal problems,retardation, several deformities which he was born with but had surgeries to correct them or make less noticable. He does the flapping with his arms and is non-verbal.I took him out to a restaraunt once when he was maybe 4 or 5 yrs.old and since he didn’t talk he did grunting sounds and flapped alot. Needless to say, there was an ignorant couple there and all I could hear from them was “..people should keep there pets and monkeys at home”. That was such a blow to my mom and aunt and myself. I was beside myself,couldn’t say anything just cried. Just then i realized how ignorant or uneducated people are regarding disabilities. All i could do was pray for that couple that God would show them the light. It was hurtful to say the least.Since then, when my son is with me,and people stare or point I just smile.Instead of retarded we should just use the word ‘slow’ or mentally challenged. The syndrome my son has is called Rubinstein/Taybi syndrome, for those who want to look it up! My sons name is AJ and he is 25 now:)

  20. I was so glad to read this post on your blog. Your blog has so many loyal followers and so having great information like “Spread the Word to End the Word” can take off like wildfire. I am a recent college graduate so no children in my life yet. The reason I so passionately follow your blog is because of my huge involvement in Best Buddies International while I was in college including being on the student board. My buddy had DS and that didn’t stop him at all from achieving what he believed in.

    Ironically right before I was reading your blog I was reading about the work our Best Buddies Chapter was doing next month for “Spread the Word, End the Word” Keep up the great work. I am always inspired by your stories. God bless!

  21. Thankfully, my mom taught me not to use that word when I was a kid. She told me that it was a derogatory term. I’m 42 now, and I never use it! I do have a lot of students who still use it, and I’m now going to make even more of an effort to end the word!

    God bless you and your family!

  22. Jennifer says

    Rick! Thank you for this. Your family is amazing:)

  23. I hate the r word. I’m not intellectually disabled but I do have learning difficulties, as I was diagnosed with high functioning autism, and non verbal learning disorder, (among a few other learning disorders), 15 years ago, when I was 7.
    During my earlier childhood, prior to diagnosis years, my autism was more severe than just a high functioning, or asperger’s level. I was non verbal until age 4, and semi non verbal until almost age 6, and predicted originally that I would probably never speak, and then that I would probably never exceed the mental capacity of a 10 to 11 year old.
    Even as a person with a high functioning diagnosis, I’ve still been tagged with “low IQ”, and even that I take issue with.
    I have a bunch of really cool friends who happen to be intellectually, learning, neurologically, and/or developmentally challenged. Words in general, need to be used more carefully. Words have meaning and can be used to hurt or love, to build up, or tear down, to build bridges, or burn them.
    Like the Toby Mac song “Speak Life”.

  24. This is a moving article. Like you, I have uttered those cruel words. Though at the time I never thought of them as hate words. I was a kid and of course I never said it in front o my mom. From the time I was 21 till earlier this year (i am 40 now) I had the honor and privilege to work with the mentally and physically disabled. From babies to way into adulthood. My language and my focused changed. I hate the R word. like u I try and be gentle in explaining on why that word is inappropriate and hurtful. many don’t realize why they even say it. On outing with my participants I would get so angry at the stares people would give. But in the end I would realize you change others by example. So by laughing with my participants, talking to the, showing the world. they are like us might change how others see them. I have to commend all the company’s and parents as well as every day people that have chosen to recognize these amazing and love people for WHO they are and not for what they have. Noah is a lucky little guy to have you in his corner. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  25. Thanks so much for posting this! Like you and many other people out there, I used to frequently slip ‘retarded’ into most every conversation I had without realizing how insensitive it actually is to so many with I.Ds. Since beginning volunteer work with disabled children and starting my studies as an occupational therapist, I picked up on just how often I used the word and made a conscious effort to stop. I admit that it was harder than I thought it would be- it seems to have somehow been ingrained into our societies everyday vocabulary and needs to be stopped. I try to make an effort to have a word with any friends or people I’m having a conversation with about how offending it actually is to use the word.
    Also, thanks so much for starting up this website- I only just stumbled across it, doing some research for a study on DS. Not ashamed to say I’ve spent quite a bit of my time clicking around and reading your family’s stories 🙂

  26. Do you sometimes use the word “retarded” in jest?
    Never, but I do use it about things which are monumentally stupid or I append a shortened version to the word ‘spam’ when banning people from the website I moderate.
    If so, do you see “the R-word” differently after this post, and do you think you will try hard to remove the use of that word as a “slang word”?
    No, simply because I never use it about people except spammers and negative trolls. So sue me.

    • To add to my comment above, I think the main reason I use the word ‘retard’ the way I do is because I’m from England, and in the UK, the word has never been used in a formal diagnosis despite its mention in the Mental Health Act 1983. It’s more of a US loan word, which is why I don’t associate intellectually disabled people with it until I see posts like this.

  27. Pauline Brannon says










    ITS WRONG FOR PEOPLE TO BE NASTY TO OTHERS AN I DONT CARE WHO IT IS WHO STARES OR COMMENTS MY ONLY COMMENT BACK IS (would you like a photograph Black and White or Colour ) im no different cept I use wheels not my legs to walk







  28. I thought you would like to know that the R word is used on p. 169 of the book The McDonaldization of Society by George Ritzier, published in 1993, by Pine Forge Press of Newbury Park, CA.. As this book is used as a textbook in studies for sociology, economics, and business degrees the book has a wide audience. You might like to contact the author and the publisher about the insult and harm caused by using the offensive word. Here is the sentence: “Rather than alter and improve the work to attract teenagers and keep them on the job longer, McDonald’s has responded by broadening its hiring net and seeking out teenagers who live in distant communities, hiring retarded adults, and bringing in older employees, often retirees, in a program called “McMasters.” “

    • Linda said:

      Here is the sentence: “Rather than alter and improve the work to attract teenagers and keep them on the job longer, McDonald’s has responded by broadening its hiring net and seeking out teenagers who live in distant communities, hiring retarded adults, and bringing in older employees, often retirees, in a program called “McMasters.”

      Um, that’s using the word in its original medical context, which I don’t think the author of this blog was saying shouldn’t be done. He’s more against its use as slang, I believe.

  29. Random Person says

    I know saying retarded is horrible and it ‘triggers’ one of my friends really badly because they’re autistic but i can’t stop it just slips out and I feel horrible! Could someone help? Any suggestions welcome

    • I have a family member whose sister is handicapped and it seems everyone says the R word at some point, so they started using a made up word in its place…redumbtious. It’s still another way of saying the same thing, but for those that don’t know what it stands for it helps to keep from hurting them and makes people a little more conscious of what they say.

      I’ve seen a lot of valid points here, and some real redumbious statements, and I admit I have been just as guilty of using the term against myself and others for stupid actions. I do consciously try not to use it but sometimes it does slip out when I’m alone. As the original poster said, I don’t necessarily mean it against persons that are handicapped but I will work harder to not say it. You never know, you may actually mess up and say it in front of a special person and hurt their feelings without meaning to.

  30. Thank you for trying to inform people of using derogatory speech. Words can destroy and words can buildup a person’s self image.
    I have spent my life with people with disabilities. My sisters were born retarded. Then we started saying, our sisters have retardation. Now the term is cognitively impaired/intellectual disability or other developmental disability. Always remember it is the person first not the label. Do not use any speech in a derogatory way. Remember the word we say is hateful was used to obtain government funds, education, employment, housing, recreation. Always be repectful and grateful to God for what you have and who you are.
    Rick, you might want to do something on people first language next. Peace!

  31. Go figure.

    Someone has a child with Down Syndrome and suddenly they’re on the bandwagon to have everyone else stop using words that now offend their sensibilities.

  32. Jaci Knowles says

    Yes, people who use to use that word who now have a child with Down syndrome now realize how ignorant and hurtful it could/can be! Any grown person who acts like an adult should know not to use the word anyway. But then again we have adults who don’t act mature enough for their age…..

  33. Not saying Down Syndrome makes all kids like this, but when I was little this kid called Amy had Down Syndrome. She locked me in the toilet cubicle and sat me on the loo (she was in there with me). Then she was like ‘do a poo’. I actually pooped. Noah’s Dad- please make sure Noah is a good boy (I’m sure he’s so sweet already) and make sure he understands not to bully. Amy was really mean. Thanks,
    Minteh <3

    • Jaci Knowles says

      Sorry that happened to you 🙁 but no Down syndrome has nothing to do with it. It’s all how you raise your kids…Down syndrome or not. She may have not been taught correctly. Who knows but having down syndrome doesn’t make you mean( not saying that you implied that) they’re just like any other typical child. I know I was blessed with one 🙂 I love my little one and his extra chromosome

  34. this video is so retarded
    u think everyone thinks it’s offended? no.
    some people think it’s a very nice thing to say. like me. and i think that way cuz im a retard.
    lol the word retard is supposed to be funny u retards
    not offensive at all

    • It’s very offensive to the people who have the common sense to know how hurtful it can be to others….but based on your comment I can see that’s something you have trouble with so I wouldn’t expect you to understand.

    • OneAmongMany says

      Yea, you’re also a nasty little gutter rat.

  35. James Doglasse says

    My son has as friend with narcissistic personality syndrome. He is not retarded. He understands his diagnosis. And he understands narcissist is only really ever used in a derogatory way.

    I say lets stop using this other “N” word. Instead of using Narcissist say “other challenged”

    The problem is, when I call someone retarded. I fucking mean it. I mean their actions were so stupid, even though they are normally mentally abled, that they acted in a way I would expect a retarded person to act.

    I mean not offense to the mentally disabled. I am no insulting them for being who they are, which they can not help. I am insulting someone for being an incredibly stupid version of themselves.

    If we were to replace retarded with another word? Soon people would know this word meant retarded… and people would call for its use to be stopped. It happened with cretin, moron, dummy etc

    Oh yeh of the family of people with a mental disability. We feel for you, your lack of never again to have a normal life, for all the challenges you will face.

    But you are buthurt out of some idea that you think by using the word retarded as its now commonly used that somehow we are disrespecting or disregarding the worth of the life of your so afflicted family member and thats just not true.

    Mourn your difficult future… but get over yourself too.

    • I have no reason to mourn my future. Having a child with down syndrome is nothing but a blessing the thing I will mourn is my children having to grow up in a world with people like you. But don’t worry Ill get over myself as you say and pray for you in the mean time because you definitely need it 🙂

      • James Doglasse says

        A blessing? What a silly thing to say. Your child has down syndrome because of bad luck. When it was first developing there was a mix up in its chromosomes and that was that. Is no blessing, there was no intervention by a higher power to give you a genetically damaged child… what… as a blessing, a reward for something?

        Would you feel blessed if you had two more children with DS?

        If you wish to talk to your imaginary friend? Go for it. If it gets your through the day then fine. But please don’t waste your meaningless muttering on me. I am sure your days are busy enough as they are and you need every moment for yourself.

        I find your passive aggressive reference of praying for me as if you are better than me because you believe in a magic sky fairy, deeply offensive.

        Please educate yourself on the movement to stop this nonsensical behavior. Plenty of sources. Start here http://new.exchristian.net/2010/10/please-dont-say-youll-pray-for-me.html

        • Actually yes I would feel blessed if I had 2 more children with Down syndrome I could have 100 and still feel blessed. I get plenty of time for myself. My child requires no more attention and has no more needs then my child without syndrome. They require the same care it just takes my son a little longer to learn…so what? He learns everything you and I do and is capable of doing the same things. It just takes him longer. So yes I feel as if it’s nothing but a blessing just as my other child is. And I’m sorry if I offended you by saying I’ll pray for you, it’s my choice to believe in God and its your choice not to. And that’s ok there’s not right or wrong. So thank you for your input and im sorry that you feel that my child having Down syndrome is bad luck but I don’t feel that way at all, maybe because I spend every day with him and he’s my child I love my children more then anything so I can’t help but feel they are both blessings. 🙂

          • James Doglasse says

            It sounds like you have a high functioning child with DS? Lucky for you. What if you your next two required multiple spinal fusions, other operations and insulin injections? What if they had super low intelligence that could never talk, and barely walk?

            Lovely you lucked out and got a child that is merely very slow.

            Of course your child can’t learn what i can. Maybe he can learn what you can. I cant comment on your intelligence.

            I love my children too and had I one with DS? I would love him or her too. But I would not consider myself or them lucky, or blessed. It would just be what it was.

            Tell me. If you suffered a catastrophic head injury in a car accident, which also effected your site, hearing, reduced your likely lifespan by 20 years, damaged your spin and disfigured you so people could see you were mentally disabled etc etc. Would you consider this lucky? You could of course… it might well be lucky you are not dead.

            And if you feel so lucky having a mentally disabled child, why would you care if people used the word retarded? How can it matter, its YOU who are lucky after all, not them?

            Wonderful you love your child, but good luck and blessings are not involved in this.

        • Excuse me, everybody is entitled to their own beliefs! If jaci says she will pray for you she says it in all seriousness. If you wish to despise others for their beliefs then do it elsewhere thankyou. Just because you don’t believe in God doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. Fairy in the sky…whatever…sounds like you’re the one with the imaginary friend…

  36. Hi, this is a wonderful article and I understand where everyone is coming from. When calling someone “retarded” it is immature, inaccurate, and in some cases offensive. But there is no reason for it to be an offensive term. It is a legitimate word with no offensive meaning. No one is offended when someone says something like “flame retardant” or, “we must retard the spreading of the disease”. It’s a word. “Mental Retardation” is a thing. It is slow brain development. “Mental”- brain. “Retardation”-slow development. And if you are going to argue the case for “retard” then why don’t you argue for curse words? It’s just a matter of misuse of the word. Think of other words. I won’t mention them but you know what I mean. When referring to someone rude they are often called the term that ACTUALLY means wild donkey, or female dog. Now think of all the curse words you’ve heard over the years. They all come from words that used to be normal and appropriate but due to misuse are now inappropriate. Please understand that the actual meaning of this word is professional. Not derogatory. When someone uses that word as a derogatory term, instead of being insulted, you should think of their ignorance and educate them on what the word really means.

  37. I have a sister that is developmentally delayed she is in her mid 50’s. The word retarded was used in diagnosis when she was diagnosed. She is classified as TMR which is Trainable Mentally Retarded. There is also the Association of Retarded Citizens which offers many programs for them. I think that it is all in the way the word is used that makes the difference. It is still used to describe the people affected by this condition. I do not use the word to describe her except in medical terms. She is retarded in her mental abilities but not in her love for people.

  38. What is this? Meeting of a perfect humans?

    Let me ask you something. How many of you are vegetarians or more preferably vegans? I bet none of you, maybe 1-2.

    You talk hear about how the “retard” word is so bad and hurtful and all. Guess what, I would never call a person with disability “retard”. But I call really stupid people this way, people that have no disability and have full control of what they do, and what they are. Bad people, people who just ruin life of the others. The same way as you call them A*holes etc… You think I’m ignorant? I know what retardation is. That doesn’t mean I can’t use it on people that do what they do. How about we ban word “idiot” and other words when we are at it? There are even more meanings to “retard”. The same way as there are to word “p*ssy”. Wanna ban that word too? Cos you can insult someone with that?

    I’m trying to do all GOOD in my life I can, and there are many bad people that you can’t be nice to. And these people get me angry a lot, and I use “”bad”” words sometimes. You can’t be nice to evil people. Or do you wanna do nice things for them? Call them nice names?

    Fake humanity is what is killing us. Bad people should be punished. If I swear sometimes, so what? And comparing the N word to R word is just ridiculous. I don’t use the N word, but I don’t mind use the R word to bad people. I would never call a mentally disabled person like that.

    But you know what else makes me angry?

    You people, people who act like decent, nice, perfect human beings. No one’s perfect, even though I’m trying to do the best things, and I’m pretty sure you do much worse things than using the word “retard”. Like I said, I bet none of you is a vegetarian / vegan. maybe some of you is. Every time you buy a meat, or any other product from animal. You contribute to too much pain, abuse, cruelty, slaughterhouses. I bet you love your leather shoes and belt hm??

    You people are so self-righteous. But I know right? For you, it’s just an animal… You have what’s called “Speciesism” And it’s the same, if not worse as “Racism” Well guess what, for me, you are just a human. If you kill an animal, someone else has the same right to kill you, it’s the same.
    And what about other things in your life? I bet you do much more bad things. Or it least worse than using just some word starting with R.

    Some of you say that you stopped doing it after it happened to your close ones. It just shows how you care only about you and when it concerns you or your close ones. Or just humans generally.

    If you at least do what you do with the animals I said, you have no right blaming anyone for some silly word. This is much more important, and other important things. We live in too much crap.

    Look in the mirror before pointing fingers to others, you perfect beings…

    Pardon my english.

  39. What is this? Meeting of a perfect humans?

    Let me ask you something. How many of you are vegetarians or more preferably vegans? I bet none of you, maybe 1-2.

    You talk hear about how the “retard” word is so bad and hurtful and all. Guess what, I would never call a person with disability “retard”. But I call really stupid people this way, people that have no disability and have full control of what they do, and what they are. Bad people, people who just ruin life of the others. The same way as you call them A*holes etc… You think I’m ignorant? I know what retardation is. That doesn’t mean I can’t use it on people that do what they do. How about we ban word “idiot” and other words when we are at it? There are even more meanings to “retard”. The same way as there are to word “p*ssy”. Wanna ban that word too? Cos you can insult someone with that?

    I’m trying to do all GOOD in my life I can, and there are many bad people that you can’t be nice to. And these people get me angry a lot, and I use “”bad”” words sometimes. You can’t be nice to evil people. Or do you wanna do nice things for them? Call them nice names?

    Fake humanity is what is killing us. Bad people should be punished. If I swear sometimes, so what? And comparing the N word to R word is just ridiculous. I don’t use the N word, but I don’t mind use the R word to bad people. I would never call a mentally disabled person like that.

    But you know what else makes me angry?

    You people, people who act like decent, nice, perfect human beings. No one’s perfect, even though I’m trying to do the best things, and I’m pretty sure you do much worse things than using the word “retard”. Like I said, I bet none of you is a vegetarian / vegan. maybe some of you is. Every time you buy a meat, or any other product from animal. You contribute to too much pain, abuse, cruelty, slaughterhouses. I bet you love your leather shoes and belt hm??

    You people are so self-righteous. But I know right? For you, it’s just an animal… You have what’s called “Speciesism” And it’s the same, if not worse as “Racism” Well guess what, for me, you are just a human. If you kill an animal, someone else has the same right to kill you, it’s the same.
    And what about other things in your life? I bet you do much more bad things. Or it least worse than using just some word starting with R.

    Some of you say that you stopped doing it after it happened to your close ones. It just shows how you care only about you and when it concerns you or your close ones. Or just humans generally.

    If you at least do what you do with the animals I said, you have no right blaming anyone for some silly word. This is much more important, and other important things. We live in too much crap.

    Look in the mirror before pointing fingers to others, you perfect beings…

    I would love to have your problems.
    Pardon my english.

  40. Why shouldn’t we use the word “duh”? I’d like to know

  41. I believe that the person who wrote this article is a retard along with anyone so sensitive to a word that it triggers them. I was occasionally bullied at school as a kid and i developed around it to the point where i was at the top in my own social place among the kids. I went from being a loser to being one of the top dogs the words geek, gay boy, faggot, retard are all words thrown around in schools if you cant take it then you deserve to be at the bottom of the pecking order and not respected.

    • That’s offensive to make fun of a guy that likes guys by using it as a insult I didn’t know people used the word “boy” after it now that’s really offensive but people used that word plain and said it meant “stupid” but putting “boy” after it is now making fun of L[G]BT boys and trying to make us feel “less” than. How is being a guy that likes guys a insult? I like guys and I don’t get how it is “bad” or “insulting” to be labeled that? I NEVER hear people saying “Geek,straight boy,retard” EVER! People don’t go around saying that’s so straight boy or shut up your being a straight boy!

    • And when did you graduate?

  42. The word Retarded is part of the “euphemism treadmill”. The term was originally meant to replace words like “idiot”, “moron” and “imbecile”. Every new euphemism to describe intellectual deficiencies becomes a new pejorative term, because having an intellectual deficiency is perceived as a negative.

    The lesson to be learned: You can’t alter perception by sanitizing language. Calling a retarded person “special” isn’t going to improve their intellect, or the perception that retardation is a disability.

    If the goal of the author is to protect the feelings of retarded people, he and other SJW’s like him should refrain from teaching Retards that they should be hyper-sensitive about their retardation. SJW’s breed further weakness in a group of people already struggling.

    I have OCD. I don’t get offended whenever I hear people use the term “crazy” as a pejorative. Why would I? If someone sees that I am behaving in an unusual way, and they tease me saying, “What are you, crazy?” I tell them, “Actually, yeah. I have OCD.” In all my years on this earth, not one person has made fun of me once they realized I have OCD.

    I’m tired of listening to over-educated advocates and other arts students spewing their cult-like post-modernist philosophies at the rest of us, as if we have an obligation to nurture everyone’s feelings. Euphemisms are offensive, because they denote shame. Advocates and other PC SJW’s are way too soft, and are trying to make the rest of us as weak as they are. They have a victim-fetish, and it’s unhealthy.

    If you have a retarded child, teach them to not be ashamed of their affliction. If someone says, “What are you, Retarded?” they should respond, “Actually, yeah. I am. Why?” Be who you are. Own it, instead of hiding behind euphemisms.

    I find the phrase “differently-abled” far more insulting that words like “retard” or “crazy”, even when delivered by the “advo-capable” “social-justicely-abled”.

    • One more thing:

      Don’t compare people who have cognitive disabilities, to other minorities as if using the word “retard” or “crazy” is similar to racial and homophobic slurs. When you say that the word “retard” is no different than using the word “fag” or “nigger”, what you’re actually saying is that being an ethnic minority or gay is like having an affliction!

      As a disabled person, allow me to teach you non-disabled people an important lesson: embracing victimhood doesn’t empower you. It eats away at your self-perception.

      I realize that the current intellectual climate within academia treats victimhood as a form of leverage: a kind of power within liberal societies. Well, that’s all b.s. In the real world, if you have to overcome prejudice and adversity, the most important thing is to accept WHAT and WHO you are, without allowing the object of prejudice to encapsulate your self-perception.

      In other words, teach you child not to perceive themselves primarily in terms of their retardation. You don’t want them to look in the mirror every morning, and think “Retard.”, right? How do you protect them from that?

      I’ll tell you. As a disabled person myself, I know from experience that there’s only one way to function with dignity: accept your disability. Sure, you’re disabled. No big deal. Is it Autism? Fine. Whatever. Accept it and move on as best you can.

      Otherwise, if you approach the world expecting everyone to alter their language, feeling disrespected every time someone uses the world “retard” at the mall, or on the bus, you’ll be vulnerable. Painfully vulnerable.

      Here’s the thing: No retarded person ever arrived at the conclusion that their feelings should be hurt, on their own. They were taught to be vulnerable, by their “retarded” advocates and PC parents. It’s dumb. Imbecilic. Moronic. Why would you teach your vulnerable children to be even more vulnerable?

      I have experience, supervising people with autism in groups. I’ve seen how they interact with one another, and how they interact out in the world. Trust me, when I say that kids who accept their autism FUNCTION far better, than kids who are taught to “integrate” with non-disabled kids. Giving your children a peer group of individuals enduring similar struggles, in an environment where they learn to accept who they are, is the best thing you can do for your child.

      This PC crap would be easily ignored as silly, if it wasn’t so harmful.

      It’s common sense. What do you have more control over: teaching your kid to accept what they are, and not be offended by the word “retard”, or convincing EVERYONE to refrain from using terms that denote retardation/idiocy/stupidity as a pejorative? I don’t know if it’s delusions of grandeur, advocates trying to justify their employment, or just over-educated post-modernist arts majors trying to apply their “craft”. Either way, stop it. You’re just hurting kids by making them vulnerable.

      • This is so ridiculous. It all has to do with ones intention.

        Person A & person B are driving in a car. Person B tells person A to turn on X road. Person A misses turn. Person B says “What R you, blind!?” No one is going to be offended by this. Not even me and I am blind.

  43. Retarded is not a bad word, you fucken idiot. If someone is offended by the word, then they should not have chosen to be offended. I have autism, and I’m not offended one bit. Retard used to mean to slow down. Just like gay used to mean happy.

    • This is just political correctness gone way too far. Besides political correctness is so intellectually disabled to begin with. You catch my point. The term intellectually disabled is going to be used in the exact same context as retard. Think about it. People are saying I I I D D D. I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the US and people’s feelings are mentioned anywhere in that document.

  44. Jimmy Webert says

    Why we should be allowed to say what we want: Freedom of speech

  45. Stephen Smith says

    Retarded – Less advanced in mental, physical, or social development than is usual for one’s age.

    That is the definition for the word. People need to get over the usage of this word. It means what is says. People who are low IQ are RETARDED. Its not an insult, its fact. People who are overweight are FAT. These are not pejorative terms, these are facts. Retard people are characterized as having low IQ’s because they do. They are not like a normal person. And yes, I mean normal. Look at the bell curve, they do not fall at the 50% percentile, they are outliers, again get over it.

  46. William Paul L'Estrange says

    I think we should release our demons out of using words like retard to the disabilities, nigga to the blacks, faggots to everyone especially people who are homosexual or bi sexual, spick to hispanics, chank to asians and kike to seniors but the biggest and most offensive word of all is the word “cunt” but anyways people we shouldn’t use words to offend others over feelings of hate or superior just so you know it doesn’t make us feel happy, what makes us feel happy is we should love and forgive others not hate or over powered them that’s what Satan wants in this world of all his demons to torment souls so ya’ll can go to him in Hell while others can go to heaven with the hands of God and Jesus. You can still go to Heaven because we have Jesus if you do or change yourself to love and forgive others like first surrender your faith then second use the warfare prayer it all helps believe me to be christian to have a journey to live eternal happiness than sufferings. that’s my preaching for the day amen to everybody.

  47. Emily_SHS says

    Whats wrong with being a spick, I’m a spick, does that mean I’m retarded.My brother has down syndrome and i am very offended by the word retarded no matter how many people love there will always be those who feel like he is a disgrace or he is stupid……this is for all of u out there who think he is dumb, he is the smartest kid in his class!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. It’s a shame we have any slurs at all, as the more unacceptable a word is to say only makes it more offensive. Telling people to stop using “retard” only gives it more power over you as an insult.

  49. I hardly ever use the word retarded. But, when I do it is because I am describing someone who suffers from mental retardation.so when someone who is not mentally challenged exhibits behavior that is similar to those who are, I may call them retarded. It is not a word that I use lightly, however I will not apologize for using the word retarded in the correct context. I have many friends and family members that are mentally challenged but the few times I’ve ever said it in front of them they did not seem offended. So depending on how some people use the word retarded, yes it can be offensive. But those of you who choose to use it in the correct context have done nothing wrong. This is just a new strand of PC. People always find something to complain about. If you don’t like the word retarded, don’t surround yourself by people that use it frequently. If you like to use the word retarded whether it be in incorrect context or in correct context, please don’t surround yourself with people that that word offends. It’s commonsense people, if you don’t like the word don’t be around people that use it. If you do like the word, don’t be around people that don’t.

    • You realize… mental retardation is no longer a medical term right? Pretty much every medical body has withdrawn it as a medical term.

      So the only legitimate usage these days is to describe a normally mentally abled person when they do or say something really dumb.

      Like what you just wrote. Not quite retarded… more in the realm of dumbass.. but definitely in the same ball park as retarded.

  50. Did a retard write this post?

    • Don’t be so damned thinned-skinned.
      If other peoples words really do affect you that much, see a professional about it.

  51. Old Fashioned Man says

    You social justice warriors really love to worship handicapped people it looks like.

  52. I try not to use the word as I know it is upsetting to people. But when I did in the past it was never referring to or comparing who or what it was aimed at to someone with a disability.
    As you say it was used implying people with intellectual disabilities were dumb or slow. As in, it had its own meaning before being frequently used in such a way. And for me that’s how it’s always felt, like a harsh way of calling something stupid. But nothing to do with disabled people.
    But on saying that I guess I can see why it has a lot of hurt attached to it also.

  53. The word “retard” is Latin for slow; therefore someone who is “retarded” is being described as slow in some way, generally mentally. It’s not offensive at all. Quite frankly I’m offended for all the attacks on language and true meanings of words. It’s the oldest trick in the book by the left-wing but it won’t work anymore.

  54. Do people not realize that whenever anybody writes some article that is basically schooling you on “proper speech etiquette”, they’re just setting themselves up to be laughed at and ridiculed at. These types of people are called “social justice warriors” (or SJWs for short), and thanks to these subhuman idiots, it’s turning the 1st amendment into a pipe dream. Congratulations, you are officially part of the problem for feeling the need to correct humanity, even though you are too much of an offended little pansy in your self-delusional world to realize this.

    If you signed that petition at the bottom of the webpage, then you are exactly what this author doesn’t want to be called.

  55. OutsideTheCity says

    I only wish the word would simply disappear, but sadly it likely never will. Lately people thrive on deliberately saying it (despite knowing it’s offensive) whist arguing that they’re using it in the name of “free speech” (they’re just being edgy and immature). It’s becoming a commonplace adjective that jerky people seem to get off on by saying and posting, and unfortunately there’s no rule that prevents them from doing so, nor is their sense of conscience and empathy strong enough to realize how hurtful, demeaning and cruel “retard” is as a word. To them it’s just a word, but historically it’s been used to generalize a demographic of people as animals, damaged second-class citizens and worthless idiots. Using it is no different than using “n!gger” or “f@ggot” – it’s technically alright to say it because free speech protects it, but we’re a modern, high-functioning society of civil human beings. We’re supposed to know better.

  56. I’m so sick of people telling other people what they can or should not do or say because it offends them. Yes you are allowed to be offended by whatever offends you but everybody else doesn’t have to change or care about what offends you.

  57. In today’s “everyone is a winner” society where whining bleeding heart hippies take offense to everything said by everyone I see how you would like to stop the “R” word from being used. You may want to become adults rather than crybabies, I have several “special needs” relatives, I do not call them “retard” I call people being stupid “retarded” which is how the word was meant to be used, keep in mind that the word was a medical term not so long ago, stop trying to control English vocabulary, stop taking offense to everything ignorant people say, it is true that words will not hurt you, but they can hurt your feelings, stop teaching these people with differences that the world is fair, it’s NOT, get over it, learn how to handle adversity and prejudice like the rest of the general population. This is why our world has become so messed up, everyone is a winner whether you won or not, SORRY TO BE THE BEARERE OF BAD NEWS BUT THERE MUST ALWAYS BE A LOSER, just hope that you worked hard enough to not be the loser

  58. A lot of so many very retarded people in this world, and it is God’s fault for creating them in the first place

  59. Ken Schauer says

    I am a 56 year old male with HFA and severe sensory processing oversensitivity who spent 4 years in the Marine Corp and the oath I swore was “To uphold and defend the CONSTITUTION on the United States of America from terrorists both foreign and DOMESTIC” the first of which is the right to free speech. When you tell people what they can and cannot say you put yourself in the domestic terrorist group. Quit raising your child to be thin skinned by calling him “Special Needs” All disabled people have adversities to overcome. With my disability I have Social and emotional retardation and slight cognitive problems but am not mentally retarded as the writer of this crap. Example your child is special needs because of mental retardation, get over it it is just a medical diagnosis. Try focusing on positives like telling him he just has adversities to overcome others do not. Teach him how to defend himself. Above all else quit playing the victim!

  60. tard supervisor says

    Honestly this whole “don’t say this word, let’s ban that word blah blah blah” is the epitome of “retarded”. Who gives anyone the right to tell someone else they can’t use a certain word? You may not like hearing it but guess what in the end you can’t stop them. I use the word myself when I feel like it and wouldn’t take kindly to anyone telling me what I can and can’t say. Just the same, I don’t go around telling anyone else what to say despite the fact that I hear things that I don’t like either. If I am around someone that is saying something I don’t like or is offensive I simply leave. This “ban the R word” stuff has been going on for years and hey reality check, over the last couple of weeks or so I have heard the word said multiple times, in different settings. I know an attorney that breaks it down even further—calls people “tards”. Yep, go cry about that. I’ll still be saying the word while these lib-tards go find another crybaby issue to wail about. Like their Hillary bumper sticker is peeling on their prius. LMAO tards!!!

  61. Well this certainly describes most of the women nowadays for sure.

  62. Just look at all the retarded people driving on the road these days, especially when most of them are women too. Very scary.


  1. […] “That’s So Retarded” – Why I Stopped Saying This, And You Should Too. […]

  2. […] “That’s So Retarded” – Why I Stopped Saying This, and You Should Too […]

  3. […] phrase has an entirely new meaning for me now. (I also have a whole new understanding of the “R-Word.”) I don’t want anyone to ever people to say things that will my hurt my little boy, […]

  4. […] needs. If you don’t know what the r-word is or why its offensive, please stop reading now and read this article explaining why you should not use it to describe anybody, ever. Today we use the phrase “special […]

  5. […] learning disabilities and mental illnesses, although there are arguments against using them, and some terms absolutely should be abandoned (if you care to respect people at all). It’s very easy to […]

Leave A Comment And Let Us Know What You Think!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.