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Rosa's Law or How much PC is too much PC?

ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
edited January 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
I realize this is old news, but I didn't see any discussion of it. It leads into a bigger discussion, anyway.

I was unaware that, a couple of months ago, President Obama signed Rosa's Law, which basically removed the phrase "mental retardation" (or any derivitave thereof) from just about any official government language. In it's place, we have the phrase "intellectual disability".

Now, it may just be me, but I find the new "official" phrase to sound much worse. "Mental retardation" just means someone thinks a bit slower than others. "Intellectual disability" makes it sound like their entire mind is broken somehow. I really don't see how this helps or changes anything.

On top of that, I find it silly that anyone's time is being wasted on such a pointless issue. I'll admit that I've used to word retarded in the past to describe things and people that are not literally mentally retarted. I've also used the word gay to describe things and people that are not literally homosexual (leaving out the fact that the word really just means "happy" and the fact that one group has claimed the word suddenly means no one can use it to mean something else :rotate:). To me, words are just words and people can either give them power or ignore them.

I realize it's politics and that they have to bow to certain interests. I also realize that this is a very small thing and really doesn't affect me in any way whatsoever. I'm not really including those factors in my argument. I'm just wondering what you fine folks think about PC language. Is there a certain point where it becomes ridiculous? Should PC language always be considered since we could possibly hurt someone's feelings or is it simply too much to ask to keep up with what every single group wants to be called?

ChillyWilly on
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Posts

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2010
    Is there a point where PC language gets ridiculous? Yes.

    Is this it? No.

    Oh, and faggot means bundle of sticks, so clearly gay people shouldn't care about being called that.

    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Actually, I would rather people stop talking about how words are just words and don't do any harm when that very notion has been disproven time and time again.

    As to this particular issue, I find myself unable to care less about it then I do. Why do you care what official government documents call a disorder? It seems like this would impact you to the sum of zero.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
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    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • taoist drunktaoist drunk Registered User
    edited December 2010
    I think the issue is less about hurting feelings and more about causing harm. Words mean things, and when words like "gay" are used as signifiers for "bad" that perpetuates a cycle of queerness being linked with badness, which can in some cases lead to violence. This doesn't mean that everyone who says something is "gay" when they mean it's unpleasant or unfortunate or whatever is going to go out and commit a hate crime, but it does contribute to a culture that is hostile and yes, sometimes violent, to gay people.

    As far as time being wasted on a pointless issue, the fact that it's pointless to you doesn't make it pointless to the groups the action is intended to benefit. It's also a simple thing that can be done, as opposed to things like balancing the budget which are tremendously controversial and complicated.

    And "is it simply too much to ask to keep up with what every single group wants to be called?" No. I mean, if you really don't know and so you misstep, and someone then says "what you just said is not okay," the polite and responsible thing to do is say "Okay, I didn't know, I apologize" and then not do it again and move on. It costs you nothing, and it matters to them.

  • ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    Actually, I would rather people stop talking about how words are just words and don't do any harm when that very notion has been disproven time and time again.
    As to this particular issue, I find myself unable to care less about it then I do. Why do you care what official government documents call a disorder? It seems like this would impact you to the sum of zero.

    From the the OP:
    I also realize that this is a very small thing and really doesn't affect me in any way whatsoever.

    I'm quite aware it doesn't affect me in the least. And Rosa's law isn't even the main thing I'm trying to discuss. More of a jumping off point.

    Also, could you expand on the bolded portion? Perhaps I'm just ignorant on the subject, but I was unaware that the idea had been "disproven time and time again".


    And for the record, I am not saying that we should always use whatever words we wish when dealing with other people or the groups they represent. You shouldn't insult people just for the sake of insulting them. I'm just trying to discuss PC language and what it's limits are.

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  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Changing the official language of mental retardation does seem silly.

    But whatever, I guess.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    Actually, I would rather people stop talking about how words are just words and don't do any harm when that very notion has been disproven time and time again.
    As to this particular issue, I find myself unable to care less about it then I do. Why do you care what official government documents call a disorder? It seems like this would impact you to the sum of zero.

    From the the OP:
    I also realize that this is a very small thing and really doesn't affect me in any way whatsoever.

    I'm quite aware it doesn't affect me in the least. And Rosa's law isn't even the main thing I'm trying to discuss. More of a jumping off point.

    Also, could you expand on the bolded portion? Perhaps I'm just ignorant on the subject, but I was unaware that the idea had been "disproven time and time again".

    Perhaps disproven isn't the right word, but it seems like the entire notion of Cyber bullying legislation, the It Gets Better project, and the rash of teen suicides completely dispute the notion that words don't cause harm. Words cause some pretty fucking significant harm.
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Changing the official language of mental retardation does seem silly.

    But whatever, I guess.


    Meh. Psychological phrasing changes all the freaking time. Look at how many times multiple personality disorder has undergone a name change.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Sentry wrote: »
    Actually, I would rather people stop talking about how words are just words and don't do any harm when that very notion has been disproven time and time again.
    As to this particular issue, I find myself unable to care less about it then I do. Why do you care what official government documents call a disorder? It seems like this would impact you to the sum of zero.

    From the the OP:
    I also realize that this is a very small thing and really doesn't affect me in any way whatsoever.

    I'm quite aware it doesn't affect me in the least. And Rosa's law isn't even the main thing I'm trying to discuss. More of a jumping off point.

    Also, could you expand on the bolded portion? Perhaps I'm just ignorant on the subject, but I was unaware that the idea had been "disproven time and time again".

    Words, in aggregate, can cause harm. Let's say you were gay. If everyone uses gay as a terrible bad thing, and then uses it to describe you, don't you think you would internalize that? Maybe feel bad about yourself?

    On top of that, the words would make people more discriminatory against you. If everyone uses gay as a bad thing, then it must be bad right? I don't like bad things, therefore I must not like gay people. That kind of thinking.

    A word may not directly pop out and bludgeon someone in the head, but that does not mean it causes no harm.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was coopted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Still not as, well, retarded, as California requesting manufacturers cease the use of the terms "master" and "slave" in government literature in regards to electronic hardware.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/11/26/master.term.reut/

    h1DI1.jpg
    All my fuckin life I lived a normal fuckin life
  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was coopted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.
    My wife doesn't like the word retarded as an insult, I'd called someone who cut me off in traffic a retard. The next time it happened I called the person a "handi-capable asshole". So I can vouch for your comment.

    h1DI1.jpg
    All my fuckin life I lived a normal fuckin life
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was coopted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.

    Well, mental retardation isn't a great thing. We don't look to go around making more people mentally retarded.

    No one aspires to be mentally retarded.

    It doesn't make you a bad person as a whole. I can't draw, or hardly write straight. My girlfriends autistic brother makes far better art than I ever could. He's pretty cool, friendly. But he can never live on his own, or have a normal life. He just couldn't function in society.

    So changing it to intellectually disabled isn't really any better.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    JebusUD wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was co-opted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.

    Well, mental retardation isn't a great thing. We don't look to go around making more people mentally retarded.

    No one aspires to be mentally retarded.

    It doesn't make you a bad person as a whole. I can't draw, or hardly write straight. My girlfriends autistic brother makes far better art than I ever could. He's pretty cool, friendly. But he can never live on his own, or have a normal life. He just couldn't function in society.

    So changing it to intellectually disabled isn't really any better.

    That was my point.

    The clinical term is co-opted into an insult. The clinical term is then changed to avoid the stigma of the insult. The new clinical term is then cooped into an insult. The new clinical term is then changed... ad infinitum.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was coopted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.
    "Intellectual" is already a slur in some circles. I doubt there is going to be much crossover, though.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • taoist drunktaoist drunk Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Re: the thing ChillyWilly bolded, I think the idea is that if people have been "primed" (acculturated) into buying into certain stereotypes, they will more readily believe them. So if people have been brought up learning that little girls are naturally bad at math, for example, when presented with a little girl who legitimately is bad at math, they will see this as "proving" the "rule," but when they are presented with a little boy who is bad at math, they'll see it as an anomaly. This is sort of along the lines of research on patterns in the ways teachers call on students, etc.

    But "priming" can happen in a variety of ways, including language. For example, it could include growing up hearing the word "gay" as a synonym for "bad," or hearing gender/race/ethnicity/sexuality-specific insults. That is, if you hear your whole life that gay = bad, when you are confronted with a gay person, you will (without realizing it) make that mental connection. The more deeply you've been steeped/primed, the less you'll be equipped to resist making that connection.

    All of which contributes to a harmful, destructive cycle.

  • ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Actually, I would rather people stop talking about how words are just words and don't do any harm when that very notion has been disproven time and time again.
    As to this particular issue, I find myself unable to care less about it then I do. Why do you care what official government documents call a disorder? It seems like this would impact you to the sum of zero.

    From the the OP:
    I also realize that this is a very small thing and really doesn't affect me in any way whatsoever.

    I'm quite aware it doesn't affect me in the least. And Rosa's law isn't even the main thing I'm trying to discuss. More of a jumping off point.

    Also, could you expand on the bolded portion? Perhaps I'm just ignorant on the subject, but I was unaware that the idea had been "disproven time and time again".

    Words, in aggregate, can cause harm. Let's say you were gay. If everyone uses gay as a terrible bad thing, and then uses it to describe you, don't you think you would internalize that? Maybe feel bad about yourself?

    On top of that, the words would make people more discriminatory against you. If everyone uses gay as a bad thing, then it must be bad right? I don't like bad things, therefore I must not like gay people. That kind of thinking.

    A word may not directly pop out and bludgeon someone in the head, but that does not mean it causes no harm.

    You and Sentry both make a good point. Bullying and name-calling is a massive problem. And like I said, I don't think people should just be calling everyone else whatever name they want. I just think that PC'ing terms doesn't change anything. Kids will still bully other kids for being different. They will still need to be told not to do it and we will still have campaigns that say bullying is wrong. None of this really has to do with what words are being used.

    For instance, say the word "gay" was suddenly outlawed. You can't say it. You must now use the government approved phrase "alternately lifestyled". As adytum pointed out, that phrase will eventually become an insult too. Changing words for the sake of changing words doesn't really do anything. And like I said in the OP, sometimes the new phrasing sounds even worse.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Is there a point where PC language gets ridiculous? Yes.

    Is this it? No.

    Oh, and faggot means bundle of sticks, so clearly gay people shouldn't care about being called that.

    This.

    Finding retard or any of its permutations offensive isn't exactly way out there.

    sig.jpg
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was coopted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.

    Verily, our codex beseeches vicissitude like a cripple beseeches a velocipede.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • Uncle_BalsamicUncle_Balsamic Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
  • taoist drunktaoist drunk Registered User
    edited December 2010

    You and Sentry both make a good point. Bullying and name-calling is a massive problem. And like I said, I don't think people should just be calling everyone else whatever name they want. I just think that PC'ing terms doesn't change anything. Kids will still bully other kids for being different. They will still need to be told not to do it and we will still have campaigns that say bullying is wrong. None of this really has to do with what words are being used.

    For instance, say the word "gay" was suddenly outlawed. You can't say it. You must now use the government approved phrase "alternately lifestyled". As adytum pointed out, that phrase will eventually become an insult too. Changing words for the sake of changing words doesn't really do anything. And like I said in the OP, sometimes the new phrasing sounds even worse.

    Right, but it's not "for the sake of changing words," it's because people who fall under the category (or who are advocates) that the word refers to feel like the word needs to be changed because it's harmful, not just for fun. It doesn't seem like a very fun process to change anyway, because anytime people try to make a change like this it kickstarts an argument exactly like this one.

    I don't say that to thread-shit, I just mean that if the original word was satisfactory and not hurtful, it doesn't make sense that people would want to cause a fuss for no reason and spar with people who feel like their concerns are pointless/overblown/whatever.

  • ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Is there a point where PC language gets ridiculous? Yes.

    Is this it? No.

    Oh, and faggot means bundle of sticks, so clearly gay people shouldn't care about being called that.

    This.

    Finding retard or any of its permutations offensive isn't exactly way out there.

    Right, but does changing "retard" to some other word really change anything? i.e. Will people who are retarted/mentally challenged/intellectually disabled be less insulted just because a more PC term (which is debatable) was created?

    I get that people don't want to be insulted. I'm not saying we should insult people. I'm just asking if PC'ing everything really even matters in the long run.

    EDIT: I suppose this is a response to taoist drunk's post, too. :D

    EDIT ALSO: I know you're not trying to thread shit. I don't think anyone is (yet).

    PAFC Top 10 Finisher in Seasons 1 and 3. 2nd in Seasons 4 and 5. Final 4 in Season 6.

    Height: 5' 11" Weight: 225 Goal: 200
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was coopted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.

    Verily, our codex beseeches vicissitude like a cripple beseeches a velocipede.

    Velocipedes are not nearly as interesting as the name implies.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Sentry wrote: »
    Actually, I would rather people stop talking about how words are just words and don't do any harm when that very notion has been disproven time and time again.
    As to this particular issue, I find myself unable to care less about it then I do. Why do you care what official government documents call a disorder? It seems like this would impact you to the sum of zero.

    From the the OP:
    I also realize that this is a very small thing and really doesn't affect me in any way whatsoever.

    I'm quite aware it doesn't affect me in the least. And Rosa's law isn't even the main thing I'm trying to discuss. More of a jumping off point.

    Also, could you expand on the bolded portion? Perhaps I'm just ignorant on the subject, but I was unaware that the idea had been "disproven time and time again".

    Words, in aggregate, can cause harm. Let's say you were gay. If everyone uses gay as a terrible bad thing, and then uses it to describe you, don't you think you would internalize that? Maybe feel bad about yourself?

    On top of that, the words would make people more discriminatory against you. If everyone uses gay as a bad thing, then it must be bad right? I don't like bad things, therefore I must not like gay people. That kind of thinking.

    A word may not directly pop out and bludgeon someone in the head, but that does not mean it causes no harm.

    You and Sentry both make a good point. Bullying and name-calling is a massive problem. And like I said, I don't think people should just be calling everyone else whatever name they want. I just think that PC'ing terms doesn't change anything. Kids will still bully other kids for being different. They will still need to be told not to do it and we will still have campaigns that say bullying is wrong. None of this really has to do with what words are being used.

    For instance, say the word "gay" was suddenly outlawed. You can't say it. You must now use the government approved phrase "alternately lifestyled". As adytum pointed out, that phrase will eventually become an insult too. Changing words for the sake of changing words doesn't really do anything. And like I said in the OP, sometimes the new phrasing sounds even worse.

    I think that Gay and Retarded are different though. Being retarded is actually a negative. These people have a deficiency. Nothing wrong with being gay.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • UseskaforevilUseskaforevil Registered User
    edited December 2010
    If this law is the first step to getting the word retard to be as socially acceptable as idiot or moron then I am all for it. It's been hard for me to quit saying it and it just rolls off the tongue so nicely.

  • TaxexemptionTaxexemption Registered User
    edited December 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was co-opted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.

    Well, mental retardation isn't a great thing. We don't look to go around making more people mentally retarded.

    No one aspires to be mentally retarded.

    It doesn't make you a bad person as a whole. I can't draw, or hardly write straight. My girlfriends autistic brother makes far better art than I ever could. He's pretty cool, friendly. But he can never live on his own, or have a normal life. He just couldn't function in society.

    So changing it to intellectually disabled isn't really any better.

    That was my point.

    The clinical term is co-opted into an insult. The clinical term is then changed to avoid the stigma of the insult. The new clinical term is then cooped into an insult. The new clinical term is then changed... ad infinitum.

    I disagree. Part of what makes retard such a great insult is that it is one word. Its easy to say something like "your retarded," whereas "your intellectually disabled" is much more unwieldy and doesn't carry the same sting. You can't shorten "intellectually disabled" into one word as it loses its meanings.


    You'll notice that most popular insults come down to a single word, such as gay, queer, faggot, or retarded. Longer insults usually only work if they draw on mental imagery. For example, instead of saying retard some people call them "window lickers," when I say window licker you probably have a picture in your head even if you've never seen one before of a person licking a window (or that kid from super troopers), that image is no doubt distasteful.


    Words have power because we give them power. Unwieldy words are rarely used. Retard is offensive whether your retarded or not , whereas intellectually disabled or "Intellectually inculpable" are vague terms that could mean just about anything. I am pro Rosa's law.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    JebusUD wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    Each word was co-opted into an insult and subsequently changed to the next iteration in hopes of avoiding the negative stigma.

    That's worked out well, and I expect it to continue working out well in the future.

    Well, mental retardation isn't a great thing. We don't look to go around making more people mentally retarded.

    No one aspires to be mentally retarded.

    It doesn't make you a bad person as a whole. I can't draw, or hardly write straight. My girlfriends autistic brother makes far better art than I ever could. He's pretty cool, friendly. But he can never live on his own, or have a normal life. He just couldn't function in society.

    So changing it to intellectually disabled isn't really any better.

    That was my point.

    The clinical term is co-opted into an insult. The clinical term is then changed to avoid the stigma of the insult. The new clinical term is then cooped into an insult. The new clinical term is then changed... ad infinitum.

    I disagree.

    You can disagree, but what I described has been the actual, observed process of this very phenomenon over the years.

    It's certainly true that intellectually disabled may be more resistant to what I described, and I certainly don't think the change is necessarily a bad one.

    However, I'd wager that you are incorrect and "intellectually disabled" will eventually become as much of an insult as the words before it. I know I've called people "mentally deficient" and that's as much of a mouthful.

    etxvv5.jpg
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Right, but does changing "retard" to some other word really change anything? i.e. Will people who are retarted/mentally challenged/intellectually disabled be less insulted just because a more PC term (which is debatable) was created?

    Yeah it works.

    Find a gay man. Ask him if he's gay. Now find another gay man. Ask him if he's a fagot.

    Then publish your findings in the Journal of Obvious Shit.

    sig.jpg
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Will people who are retarted/mentally challenged/intellectually disabled be less insulted just because a more PC term (which is debatable) was created?

    Do you hear people use "thyroid deficient" instead of "cretin" as an insult?

    How about "developmentally disabled" rather than "retard?"

    I'm not sure what gives insulting terms their power compared to clinical terms. Maybe the length? Maybe it's that you can't really say "thyroid deficient" without sounding like a bit of a nerd yourself? I don't know. But I think it's plainly silly to suggest that words inevitably have the same connotations just because they have the same denotations.

    BTW...
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    In all seriousness, it wasn't quite like this. "Imbecile" and "moron" were categories of retardation and were discarded partly because of the connotations, but partly because they weren't useful categories. They're based on mental age on the Binet IQ test, which has been all but abandoned in clinical use. "Cretin" referred specifically to people with hormonal deficiencies. In the same way "mentally retarded" can be inaccurate - it doesn't make sense to refer to people with traumatic brain injury, for instance, as retarded. Technically, they're not retarded, they're regressed. In any case, it was never a simple linear progression from one term to the next as you imply here.

    Obviously, the imprecision of the term is not the motivation for the law, but it's easier to accept the retirement of a term that is both offensive and imprecise than one that is offensive but precise.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • DraculaDracula Registered User
    edited December 2010
    If people start using "developmental disability" or, in this case, "intellectual disability" as an insult, that isn't any fault of the people who attempt to change language to be more sensitive to others, it's on the ass holes who decided to make it a slur.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Homosexual is just a euphemism for sodomite.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    "Intellectually disabled" is about as resistant to becoming a slur as any phrase I can think up that isn't entirely too cumbersome to use in normal conversation.

    Intellectual is almost antonymous to the final phrase, and disabled has been in use for decades now without becoming a slur.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    Homosexual is just a euphemism for sodomite.

    Clearly, and its selfish and unreasonable for the sodomites to find it offensive.

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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    BTW...
    adytum wrote: »
    The term has changed from cretin to idiot to imbecile to moron to retarded to intellectually disabled.

    In all seriousness, it wasn't quite like this. "Imbecile" and "moron" were categories of retardation and were discarded partly because of the connotations, but partly because they weren't useful categories. They're based on mental age on the Binet IQ test, which has been all but abandoned in clinical use. "Cretin" referred specifically to people with hormonal deficiencies. In the same way "mentally retarded" can be inaccurate - it doesn't make sense to refer to people with traumatic brain injury, for instance, as retarded. Technically, they're not retarded, they're regressed. In any case, it was never a simple linear progression from one term to the next as you imply here.

    Obviously, the imprecision of the term is not the motivation for the law, but it's easier to accept the retirement of a term that is both offensive and imprecise than one that is offensive but precise.

    Right so, I did some more quick reading and you're correct; I have my time line off a bit. However, the overall gist is the same; moron, imbecile, and idiot were the original clinical terms and became insults; retarded was used to replace them; and now this thread.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    Homosexual is just a euphemism for sodomite.

    Clearly, and its selfish and unreasonable for the sodomites to find it offensive.
    Remember that right wing church's website from a couple of years back that pulled news articles and autoreplaced "gay" with "homosexual"?

    That was good for a laugh when a guy named "Gay" wound up winning some track and field award.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • Cire_ArodumCire_Arodum Registered User
    edited December 2010
    I'm not an expert on the subject, but I'm not sure "retarded" is a very accurate/appropriate term to use. It basically means mentally slow, but with the wide variety of conditions that the different pieces of legislation likely cover, mentally slow is probably a poor descriptor. That said, I'm not sure intellectually disabled is any better. Disabled to me says completely not able. Handicapped would probably be most accurate.

    Overall tough, what things like this come down to, for me, is if it takes very little effort to make someone or some group feel a little better, then I don't see a reason not to do it.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I'm not an expert on the subject, but I'm not sure "retarded" is a very accurate/appropriate term to use. It basically means mentally slow, but with the wide variety of conditions that the different pieces of legislation likely cover, mentally slow is probably a poor descriptor. That said, I'm not sure intellectually disabled is any better. Disabled to me says completely not able. Handicapped would probably be most accurate.

    Overall tough, what things like this come down to, for me, is if it takes very little effort to make someone or some group feel a little better, then I don't see a reason not to do it.

    Retarded used to refer to development. It used to mean their growth or mental maturation was literally retarded (delayed).

    Still kind of does, I guess, though it's mostly fallen out of disuse.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • UnarmedOracleUnarmedOracle Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Hey how about this: if a one-useful but now largely-abandoned term becomes commonly used as a hateful slur, we stop using it on official government forms.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2010
    Intellectually disabled covers what we really mean when we say retarded much better (as pointed out above), which is probably the main reason its been changed in government documents. Legislation and policy in particular need to be very clear and unambiguous, and as free of unconscious prejudice as possible.

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  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    The whole point about "PC" language is allowing groups to self-identify. Especially with the term mental retardation, "retard" has been stigmatized over time and used as an insult when it used to be a mostly clinical term. i.e. "don't be a retard." So there's a good reason to allow government to keep up with language to avoid using language that has become derogatory over time. The use of insults by the private sector is never going to be fixed, but it's even worse when official documents reinforce the use of derogatory terms.

    I occasionally say something like "that's so retarded" in a fit of anger, which I shouldn't. The intransigent part of me will graciously correct to "that's so developmentally disabled" instead. I toss in this anecdote to note that people who believe people are due their dignity in language aren't perfect, they just realize the power + control words have.

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  • Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User
    edited December 2010
    I think that political correctness is intellectually disabled because I don't like it when people try to dictate what I can and cannot say.



    However, this thing addresses official government papers so I don't care.

  • AtomikaAtomika VALJEAN! AT LAST! WE SEE EACH OTHER PLAINLY! obeying the letter of the lawRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Homosexual is just a euphemism for sodomite.

    Clearly, and its selfish and unreasonable for the sodomites to find it offensive.
    Remember that right wing church's website from a couple of years back that pulled news articles and autoreplaced "gay" with "homosexual"?

    That was good for a laugh when a guy named "Gay" wound up winning some track and field award.

    Hey, I went to school with Homosexual F. Jackson!


    I wonder how he is . . . .

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