People Should Not Take Offense to the Word Retarded

We live in a day and age where a lot of people take offense to many different ways we use certain words. Now, I am a firm believer that if we, as people, start limiting the words we are allowed to use, over time, we limit our very ability to communicate effectively. I live in Canada, a place famously known for freedom of speech. The thing is, when you allow freedom of speech, you allow the good that people can say along with the bad. Freedom of speech is letting people say what they want despite the fact you may strongly disagree with them. This, however, is not even my main argument. These are just a few facts I wanted to clarify before I start wading through the metaphorical shitstorm that this topic will, no doubt, cause.

When people get offended by the term “Retard” or “Retarded,” I firmly believe that it is because they are confused about a few things. The main argument seems to be that mentally retarded people take offense to the use of the word. Mental retardation is an illness of the mind. While a lot of things are still not known about mental retardation, it is defined as follows:

“Mental retardation (MR) is a condition diagnosed before age 18, usually in infancy or prior to birth, that includes below-average general intellectual function, and a lack of the skills necessary for daily living.”*

After the age of 18 it is called dementia, and is associated with infantile behaviour and decreased learning ability. It seems to me like mentally retarded people, and the overly sensitive people who speak on the behalf of mentally retarded people, are taking it personally whenever a person uses the word “Retarded” to describe things we think are stupid, or whenever someone takes an action we feel are stupid. Personally, I do not think that they should take it on such a personal level. The fact of the matter is, the words mental retardation and the word retard/retarded mean two very different things. Mental retardation was defined previously, but I should add that people with low IQ scores that can adapt to daily life are not considered mentally retarded. The word retard, however, comes from a French and Latin background derived from words that mean ‘Slow”.** A fact, that you may not be aware of, is there are devices used in baking called “Retarders”, which are still used today and are still called retarders. These devices are used in the proofing process to retard bread by slowing the activity of the yeast.***

The keyword here being slow. The point I am trying to make is that whenever I, or someone else, calls something or someone retarded, we are not demeaning mentally retard people the planet over, we are merely calling the target, of our words, slow. The word slow is another term used to call a person stupid, and the word retard has evolved to cover objects as well as people because of its connection to the word stupid. To this day, I have never heard anyone being upset or getting offended over someone calling an object stupid, and the only people who actually take offense to being called stupid are people who do not want to be viewed as unintelligent; therefore, I conclude that the words retard and retarded should not be taken offense to, but merely distinguished from the phrase mentally retarded as the word retarded is interchangeable with the word stupid in today’s society. Perhaps the real reason the mentally retarded take offense to the word, in the first place, is because their condition is a harsh fate. Maybe they do not want to be reminded that they are below the average human being because they cannot take care of themselves properly. Unfortunately, reality is cruel, and there is no possible way to ethically hide the fact that the mentally retarded are different than the average human being. If you just continue to change the medical term they will, in time, come to hate the new term just as much, and the new term will become just as offensive as the last term. The only difference is, we will have limited our word pool even more to cater to individuals that, for the most part, do not have the capacity to properly think.

If you go a step further and try to ban the words “slow” or “stupid” because you find them offensive, the ability to communicate will be effectively hindered because people would be banned from saying things like “slow down” or “that idea is stupid,” and I shouldn’t have to tell you the negative impact that would have on society. You might say that the word stupid is negative and ugly, and you would probably be right; however, we do not live in a perfect world, negative words are needed to communicate and some people are indeed stupid. Sometimes it would even be dangerous not to call people out on being stupid because of some unintelligent idea they are trying to bring about.

So, the next time you want to hate on a person, or get all offended because of a certain word choice they decide to use, think about the things I have said here today, and use it to decide if a person is really being offensive, or just using a word you do not like properly.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me. My contact information is listed under the contact section of this site, located on the menu bar to your left. Keep in mind I will respond at my leisure, and I will be sure to post any emails that I find hilarious along with my responses to them, just because I am a dick like that. Thanks for taking the time to read this and have a great day.

Sources:
*https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/mental-retardation
**http://www.dictionary.com/browse/retard?s=t
***https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proofing_(baking_technique)


Posted on 5 July 2017 by Mekeninzo

Last minute update!!! I'm getting married on the 8th of this month. Website activity has grinded to a halt because of that and because I'm working on a text-based game that is like Pok'emon. It's being coded in javascript and node.js. (Still putting the C++ game on the backburner). Hopefully I'll realize my dreams of making a video game where people around the world can battle for real money. Here's hoping I can stay focused enough to make it happen! I will eventually get around to making new comics, I promise. Hoping sometime around August. I do have several prototype comics writen down after all. The wedding is at Saint Anthony's church in Fredericton at 1pm on July 8th if anyone out there wants to come. Look forward to resumed website activity soon(ish)!

Posted on 8 May 2017 by Mekeninzo

It's finally finished, that thing that you didn't even know I was doing. I made the ultimate MMO and posted it to the site today. As you can see, there is a new silver login/register box on the side of the site. Sign up on up, login and click the games button from the menu to see what it's all about. (No it's not the C++ game)

Posted on 3 March 2017 by Mekeninzo

All My Pixels will be undergoing some major changes in the next few months. This comic is a collection of my thoughts, feelings and sense of humour. Basically the essence of me. Since this is the nature of my work, drastic changes in my life change the outcome of my work because I base a lot of my work on real life experiences. I encourage everyone to join me on this new adventure and I sincerely hope you enjoy yourselves. ^_^

Posted on 11 December 2016 by Mekeninzo

Hello everybody! I have recently added a rant section to my site, so I can share my opinions with all of you. Mostly because certain things irritate me and i want the world to know. I look forward to all the interesting emails I will receive because of it.

Posted on 19 September 2016 by Mekeninzo

I've been putting the comics on hold, yet again, to focus on learning C++ so I can code a video game. I probably should update the news section more than I have, and since I have just updated the site to make it easier to post news I just might. All of the data from my harddrive loss has either been recovered or recreated. Figured I should probably throw that out there. Learning to code a video game has been progressing fairly slowly, but I am making some decent progress. I imagine I'll post another comic when I get a chance or when I get around to making game graphics, since I'm going to be using a similar art style for the game. Thank you all for your support. I'll try to wrap this project up as fast as I can, but no guarantees it won't take a while.

Posted on 8 June 2016 by Mekeninzo

Finally have a new comic posted. Well technically it's an older comic I just modified to fit into the new style frames. School is coming to a close and once I have found a job it will be easier to make comics. However, I do have some bad news. My harddrive destroyed itself a while ago erasing most of my artwork for the comic, so I have been scrambling around trying to recover as much as i can. Unfortionatly it might take a while to get set back up and running. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Posted on 4 October 2015 by Mekeninzo

As some of you may have realized, I haven't been posting that many new comics. That's because I'm currently studying at NBCC to be an electrician. I will still try to post a comic every once in a while whenever I'm not busy with school work (Which is hardly ever).

Posted on 9 May 2015 by Mekeninzo

Welcome to the grand opening of Mekeninzo Underground. From here on out I'm going to do my best to add a new comic every Monday. Come on in, pull up a chair and enjoy a good laugh.