Why Is “Retarded” Politically Incorrect?

I’m aware that “retarded” is not a politically correct word. When I was younger a lot of my friends used “retarded” to call each other names. Phrases like “don’t be such a retard” were common. Yet, now you never hear the word. When I was in high school it became offensive. Words like midget, retard, and many others became incorrect. Some for good reason, others not.

“Retard” is not a politically correct word because it’s offensive to a group of people. More specifically, it considered offensive to “the mentally disabled”. Except, if you look up a few words, you’ll realize it shouldn’t offend them.

Where Was Their Dictionary?

If you lookup “retard”, the definition has nothing to do with “the mentally disabled” or “mentally handicapped”. It seems to just describe stupid/foolish people:

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 3.10.42 PM.png

If a person is doing something really dumb, they’re being stupid, AKA retarded. If a person is mentally disabled, they have a mental defect and can be labeled “mentally disabled”. Not retarded.

See, the PC Folks Had it Backwards:

Medical professionals were calling people “mentally retarded” throughout the 1900s. But retard wasn’t a medical term. For example, a mishaped wheel on a cart was a “retarded wheel”. You can even find the word in some of our greatest, classical literature. Here it is in John Keat’s ‘Ode to a Nightingale’:

But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,

So when doctors used it in the medical field, it was just another adjective.

When people were using the word “retard” to refer to their friends being foolish or stupid, they were choosing a word that described the action. Most importantly, it was not a reference to mentally disabled people unless they just didn’t understand the word. In other words, no one should have been offended except the person who was called the name, who was presumably doing something stupid.

Interestingly, because stupid and retarded are somewhat synonymous, the medical community were the ones being offensive. If a doctor ever referred to a mentally disabled person as a “retard” they were guilty of two things:

  • Incorrectly using a verb
  • And calling patients “stupid”

What’s even more interesting is if you lookup idiot:

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 3.22.21 PM.png


So, people are dumb. Welcome to my blog. lol.



One response to “Why Is “Retarded” Politically Incorrect?

  1. Pingback: Am I Michael Scott? | Pause for Clarity·

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