Before I ramble on about what I think of you if you use the R word, I’m going to educate you on the word first.
You’re probably reading this and wondering what the R word is. Well the R word is a way of abbreviating the word, ‘Retard’. It is a word tossed about a lot, both by people who don’t understand the words background and by people who use the word because they are aware of where it came from.
So what is the R word?
The background of the word isn’t something I like to think about. So many, many years ago, the word ‘retard’ started to appear in the medical world. It was most commonly used when describing someone with a learning disability, it would read as mental retardation in medical books. Thankfully this is rarely used in the UK now.
Unfortunately though since not being used in that context, more and more people use it as a slang word or insult. Instead of using an alternative word, people use the word ‘retard’ in the same context that they would use words such as stupid or silly. As we live in a digital age and the majority of us have an online profile, there is a huge chance that at some stage you will come across a troll that think it is ok to use that word.
Now what do I think if you use that word?
I know what some people are going to say, you’re only saying this because your brother has Down Syndrome or people do have the freedom of speech and have the right to say what they like. In a way your not wrong, it does infuriate me because Rory is my brother. I’ve read awful things online about people with Down Syndrome and 8 out of 10 of the posts will contain the word ‘retard’. At one point I even saw a picture of a newborn baby that happened to have Down Syndrome, with a comment on the photo that said ‘Who would have a retarded baby?’ I mean I sat there and put my head in my hands. What was the point of that comment? It’s a baby for crying out loud. A baby that can’t defend themself. If you are thinking of using that word, then research it first and maybe it will show you that you shouldn’t use that word. But if you still choose to use the R word, just a warning, people will read what you put online and think you are an idiot. Save yourself some online agro, have some fun and make up your own words or use funny words as an alternative for retard. For example, use this instead: ‘My car wouldn’t start this morning, it is so crappyflappy!’
Replacing that one word can make a massive difference. We don’t get to choose what words hurt others but we get to choose whether or not to use those words.
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