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Friday, December 16, 2011

The R Word

When I was a little kid we called people 'retarded'. It wasn't meant to be hurtful to actual mentally challenged people. We just didn't think of it that way. It was sometimes meant to point out when someone did something out of ignorance, which refers to the state of being uninformed.

But now we say 'the r-word' or 'the f-word'. Really? I'm sorry, but unless you are using them to hide it from your kids, sort of like spelling out 'c-o-o-k-i-e', then you are a hypocrite. Is using a code to indicate the word any less offensive than actually using the word itself? Not in my opinion.

What actually got me thinking about this was that I like to refer to my husband as 'R'. And then I thought, 'What if in all those Word Battle posts everyone things I'm arguing/sparring/talking with a retarded person because they think I'm using the 'R Word'?' Not that there would be anything wrong with that. Except that half the time I lose against 'R' even when I think I've won, seriously putting my IQ level into question.

You may have never used the word 'retard', or you may have used it differently. I can only speak for myself and those around me. Other words now, like 'stupid', aren't supposed to be used anymore either. I think that is stupid. Does that offend you?

And who decides which new words make the Offensive List? Can I be that person? Because I am not fond of the words 'miasma' or 'cute'. I think 'cute' should be the new 'c-word'. People always use that sickly tone of voice when they say it. You know what I mean.

We teach our son not to swear and not to call people names, especially out of hurt or anger, because isn't that when we are most likely to use offensive language?  No one ever uses those words in a good situation, like, "Oh fuck you! You're awesome!" Except me, I say that. Just like no one ever says "You stupid ass, you're the best!" Except me, I say that too. But I don't say them to my son so don't send me sternly worded comments about swearing at my kid, please.

Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to toe the politically correct line. I don't mean that we should use offensive words and language, because there are words that just shouldn't be used anymore at all. I'm not even going to write them but I'm sure you can think of some yourself. And let's stop using them by referring to them by their first letter too while we're at it. Why go half way?

But let's not outlaw the word 'bum' just because little Tommy likes to say it too much. That's a problem for Tommy's parents, not me. And let's not stop using the term 'Christmas Tree' either, because I'm pretty sure no one puts a tree with lights and decorations on it in their house, in December, for any other reason. That's all I'm trying to say in my convoluted, holy crap I'm tired, way.

Merry Christmas!


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