Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Not Just Sticks and Stones

Once again, I ask you to "Spread the Word to End the Word."  This is a campaign to end the use of the words "retarded" and "retard" as slang.

Because even when you "don't mean it like that", these words originally described individuals with cognitive disabilities.  Individuals like Cora.  Now these words have evolved to refer to anything that people want to call stupid, dumb, and worthless.  And that hurts. 

Even the medical community is using this phrase less and less frequently, aware that its use as slang has made it offensive.  It is now considered a disability slur, a hate word.

So take a few minutes to think about how using this word would make a mother like me feel.  How it would make anyone who loves someone with an intellectual disability feel.  How it will one day make Cora feel, when she hears it on the playground.   Even if you think that this is an issue of being "over sensitive", it's really just a matter of respect.

So take the challenge today and make the pledge.  Pledge to Spread the Word to End the Word and stop using the words "retarded" and "retard." 

For some of my favorite posts on this topic, check out these links:

The Unknown Contributor- It Wasn't Meant That Way

Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords- Just a Word

Garden of My Heart- Retard

Love That Max- Do you get why this word hurts so much?

New York Times- A Word Gone Wrong


  1. I hate hearing "I didn't mean it that way"...There is only one way to mean it in my opinion!! I would love to see this word just disappear. Great post Leah :)

  2. Thanks for this reminder - I always keep this in my head as I guide the word choices of the students in my classroom. Hugs to you and Cora!

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