“I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent.” ~James G. Watt

Reader Discretion is Advised: There are bad words in this post. Bad, bad, bad. And concepts. Maybe a sentence or two that would offend people who think words can be offensive. I call Perlsky a retard. And I mention UK fags and vertically challenged Hungarians and loquacious Canadians. You are warned.

One of our favorite Canadian bloggers talks about it here as does the lovely Budapestian, here, now it is my turn, I guess. I am here to announce that Pearlsky, is, yes, a retard.

The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. ~NAACP

Not the “National Association for the Advancement of African Americans” yet we are not supposed to refer to “them” (oh, no, others!) as “colored” anymore, no siree, they are African American, not “negro,” not “black.” I don’t know about you, but I am having trouble keeping up.

And then there is “queer” which used to mean “different” but then meant “gay” which used to mean “happy” and in England a “fag” is a cigarette, so if one is addicted to smoking and only has clove cigarettes, it is ok to suck on a queer fag if you are in the UK but doing it here can get you arrested, unless of course, you are a congressman.

“Retard” obviously comes from “mentally retarded” or “Mental Retardation.” A search by Google of the NIH site comes up with 99,200 hits for that term on their website.

Yes, I know language changes, words get taken over by groups with agendas, meanings change over time, some become derogatory, some become archaic. But some are just plain stupid, un-smart.

“Special Needs” –  sorry, but up yours. What, you don’t have special needs? Heck, even Mariah Carey has “special needs.”

“Typical” – again, get over it. How or why is that more acceptable than “normal”? I get dirty looks at school meetings when I say “normal.” Too bad. Have I told you my goal is for her to be normal?

“Severely disabled” – I actually use this one, not sure why. I think it is more global then “mentally retarded” since it implies more of the physically challenged parts, and the word “severely” shakes people up a bit.

Oh, and “challenged” … well that’s a hoot. I’m challenged every morning when the alarm goes off until I reset it at the end of the day. Am I “life challenged”? Umm, well, maybe I am.

Here is the “accepted” definition of “Mental Retardation” …

Subnormal intellectual functioning which originates during the developmental period. This has multiple potential etiologies, including genetic defects and perinatal insults. Intelligence quotient (IQ) scores are commonly used to determine whether an individual is mentally retarded. IQ scores between 70 and 79 are in the borderline mentally retarded range. Scores below 67 are in the retarded range. ~NIH

So, yes, Pearlsky is “mentally retarded” according to the NIH, unless of course our use of facilitated communication proves otherwise. After all, the law demands she take the NCLB exam, why not an IQ test? She never has, but I digress.

Mentally retarded. A mental retard. Retarded. But a “tard”? (Yes, Erika, I know Tard is also a village in Hungary, but those people are “Tardians”)

I know of siblings, loving siblings, who have a “severely disabled” sibling. And at school, they freely use the word “tard” as a shortened version of “retard” to taunt others. They know what the word means, and the derivation. But they would not call their sibling a “tard,” even when openly admitting that he is “mentally retarded.”

So what’s my point? Words are words. Just use them as you need to to get your point across. To use the first of George Carlin’s seven dirty words, who really gives a shit?


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