Sunday, October 05, 2008
The New Retard
Once upon a time, people called each other “retards” or “retarded”. Only a decade ago it was not uncommon for people to tell retard jokes during Thanksgiving dinner or after staff meetings. Today, saying retard has become a social faux pas, to the point of being protested and rallied against. What happened to retard, and should we all make an urgent effort to ban this word from our vocabulary?
The flipside of the retard backlash is that this word has mutated into words used in common conversations. For example:
Those derivatives of retard are used on the Internet, Twitter and during coffee breaks at work. By transforming the word, is the re softened and the tard embraced?
Google, a reliable search engine, lists 962,000 results if one looks for “retard jokes”. Having sampled some of those sites personally, I discovered a pool of substandard humor interrupted by social activists, parents of mentally challenged children and actual retards who find this term insulting. Retard jokes are not what they used to be.
What do you think? You will advance to the bonus round if you misspell retard in capital letters as RTEARD, RETRDA or RATERD.