Retarded

Consider the word “retarded.” Though the term is not technically incorrect – it is still found in some medical dictionaries – it is deemed problematic. But maybe the real problem is not with the term but the fact that we have heaped onto it all our pro-smart bias and our great awkwardness with people who are obviously not smart. Maybe the problem is that we live in a society in which smart equals good. Maybe the problem is that it’s hard for us, despite our presumably enlightened state, not to see people who are “slow or limited in . . . intellectual development” (the Webster definition for retarded) as inferior. Maybe if we truly felt it was okay to be retarded, then the word would be okay, too.

– Will Braun, Posing as Progressive: The Problem with PC, Geez Magazine

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