STOP using the word "retard".

(212 Posts)
Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 11:59:23

This has been done many times before and I can't think why I am needing to do it again, except I have seen it used twice on here this morning already angry.

It's offensive. It's not JUST a word. It's no less offensive if you prefix it with "emotional" or use it to describe some silly thing you or a friend did, or some bloke you saw with his trousers half way down his backside as young men sometimes choose to do.

It may be that some believe that the use of this word is considered acceptable in other countries (ie the US) and this often trotted out as a reason for its use but that is not actually true here. As of 2014 the American Psychiatric Association plans to replace the term 'mental retardation' with 'intellectual development disorder'" in the 2013 edition of their manual.

most offensive terms used in relation to disability.


Jan49 Sun 13-Oct-13 12:04:55

I agree. I have a ds on the autistic spectrum and I wince every time I see that word.

waikikamookau Sun 13-Oct-13 12:12:54

I cnat believe mumsnetters use the word shock
it is very common in American tv programmes still.

saulaboutme Sun 13-Oct-13 12:25:34

I've heard children use it and my ds copied them. They'd heard it on a you tube video from America.
I explained to him it's not a word I want to hear him use again and why.

DontPanicMrMannering Sun 13-Oct-13 12:27:50

Wtf does "brave" mean, just looking at your list have never ever heard that.

Which is I suppose a terrible thing that I have heard all the rest.

DiamondMask Sun 13-Oct-13 12:33:56

It's a horrible word and I cant understand why, after numerous threads and campaigns, people still use it.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 13-Oct-13 12:35:04

Hear this word so often, don't know if people will ever stop using this word. It's horrible confused

EeTraceyluv Sun 13-Oct-13 12:37:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 12:37:39

I know.
And you know some dick will rock up talking about censorship and how language evolves in a minute. Oh and PC brigade.


Gileswithachainsaw Sun 13-Oct-13 12:38:25

Not to be confused with "tardy" which means late.

Agree it's a nasty nasty word.

Is it still used medically in this country? As in when they talk about mental retardation? Or has that been stopped now?

TheVermiciousKnid Sun 13-Oct-13 12:39:29

Why the fuck would anybody use a word that is so offensive to so many people, when there are so many other words that could be used?! Fuckers.

skylerwhite Sun 13-Oct-13 12:40:59

EeTraceyluv, are you being ironic?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 13-Oct-13 12:41:05

I hate the word. I overheard ds1 using it the other day. He'd picked it up on YouTube. We had words. He won't be using it again.

Inexcusable to use it on Mumsnet.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 13-Oct-13 12:41:10

I still hear the word "spaz" being used a lot by school kids round here too.

StarfishTrooper Sun 13-Oct-13 12:43:58

I don't know why people still use this word. My son is what would have been called 'mentally retarded' decades ago (he has global delay of unknown cause) and yet we have friends, actual close friends who STILL throw the words retard, mong, special around in conversation and post 'comedy' photos on facebook of people with 'special' faces etc. It's deeply upsetting.

K8Middleton Sun 13-Oct-13 12:47:10

Yes see also fuckt*rd

It is not a contraction of fucking bastard. It is a contraction of fucking ret*rd.

Not clever.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 13-Oct-13 12:48:31

Would also like to see the word gay being used as an insult.

"That's so gay" seems to be disturbingly popular when taking piss out of school friends.

EeTraceyluv Sun 13-Oct-13 12:48:33

No, I'm relating the responses I got when I asked people to stop using the word.

skylerwhite Sun 13-Oct-13 12:49:57

I was referring to your calling those people 'fucking morons'.

skylerwhite Sun 13-Oct-13 12:50:33

Their original comments and responses were hateful, to be clear.

PlayedThePinkOboe Sun 13-Oct-13 12:52:04

EETracey Am killing myself (allowed to say that?) laughing at your turn of phrase - and yet it is wholly demonstrative of why demonising a word is backwards (see! You can't say anything!). People do dumb (ooops, there we go again!) things - we use language to describe them.

I agree, it is a horrible word and I would be furious if someone used it in my hearing.

I saw it on here in the week and winced but by the time I had though of a response that wouldn't end with me being deleted, I had been distracted by RL.
I wish people would think before they speak.

DiamondMask Sun 13-Oct-13 12:52:56

It's used lots at ds's school but when I brought it up with the Head he wasnt bothered. He'd suspend someone for using a racist word however, but disabled people and vile disablist words are fair game.
I pointed that out long and loud and he said 'you cant stop teenagers using words'
Except you can and do when its racist.

Agree, OP.

While we're about it (pet hate), the word 'cretin' means someone with congenital disabilities. Lots of people don't know that, but if you do, it really gives you a shudder to see it.

Some people are nincompoops.

newfavouritething Sun 13-Oct-13 12:54:19

There's an epilepsy drug Tegretol Retard, always makes me go hmmm.

perceptionreality Sun 13-Oct-13 12:56:13

YANBU - it's a vile word to use and there is no excuse whatsoever.

KissesBreakingWave Sun 13-Oct-13 13:01:43

Nincompoop: from non compos mentis, the old legal term for lacking mental capacity. Basically a mediaeval way of calling someone a retard, forsooth.

And Retard in a drug name usually means it's delayed-action or slow release.

ShadeofViolet Sun 13-Oct-13 13:03:18


I deleted my cousin from FB for using it yesterday.

Hate it.

I'm fairly sure that's a myth!

I think we all know what 'retard' means in the context of a drug or anything else. It's just an illustration of the fact that a word can give you the shivers.

EeTraceyluv Sun 13-Oct-13 13:13:25

Ooops!! sorry grin Just realised what i did there blush

EeTraceyluv Sun 13-Oct-13 13:13:52

I was really angry.

K8Middleton Sun 13-Oct-13 13:16:17

Is nit wit ok? I think fuckwit is ok?

After all wit is mental capacity but quite a general term for mental capacity and not mental incapacity. IYSWIM. I think. err...

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:17:07

its an insult. Its supposed to be offensive.

How are you supposed to insult people if youre not allowed to use offensive words to do it???

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 13:18:19

Why don't you just call them a cunt?

Rather than use the thing that people shout at my son when I am out with him?

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:18:21

Je suis en retard, always makes me giggle

But bran, the point is, you're insulting a whole group of people you (presumably?) didn't intend to insult?

If you wanted, for god knows what reason, to really insult someone with learning disabilities, calling them a retard would do it.

If you want to insult someone who does not have learning disabilities and you call them a 'retard', you are effectively saying to others: 'ha ha, it's really insulting to someone to compare them to you!'.

<in other news, Pope shits in woods>

Erm ... pag, I love you and I generally agree with you but I have isshoooes with 'cunt' in that context.

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:20:22

but cunt is supposed to mean a womans sexual organs. OFFENSIVE

I dont think theres any basic human right to not ever be offended.

People shouting out things to your son in the street is the problem.

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:21:55

I have two sons with learning disabilities, and I dont find it offensive. Its completely subjective.

TheVermiciousKnid Sun 13-Oct-13 13:22:35

Very well put LRD. And actually, I agree with you regarding cunt for the same reason.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 13:22:41


Use what you want.
But the point of retard is to draw a deliberate line between the worst thing you can think to call someone and a person with SN.

Of course it's subjective. It's language.

But if you're not offended, what's your problem?

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 13:23:51

I don't expect not to be offended.

You can call me what you like. Just pick on someone who can stick up for themselves.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 13:26:58

I wasn't sighing at you btw LRD

I am happy to talk about the use of cunt. I just think sexual swear words are a different topic.

It's making people with SN who cannot defend themselves a cheap punchline is really scummy.

Good good.

And yes, completely agree on both counts.

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:28:35

but its so bloody tedious, pretty much banning words all the time. Its not even the real problem. Like people getting more offended by a word, than by the shocking level of provision for people with LD.

Its just context. People fucking about and using the word as a light insult, are not the problem, but it obviously makes people feel theyre doing some good in a patronising way.

I find this ever increasing list of social rules, acceptable ways of thinking, and allowed language to be rather offensive, and tbh, scary.

TheVermiciousKnid Sun 13-Oct-13 13:29:14

I agree. Retard is in a different category to cunt.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 13:32:43

I manage to be shocked by shit provision nd people shouting retard at the same time.

Perhaps if retard wasn't a hilarious insult then provision might be considered more important?

Is there not a certain irony, to get steamed up about people 'banning words', while trying to shut down a whole discussion and narrow the definition of 'real problem' to suit yourself?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 13-Oct-13 13:39:43

Its a horrible word and there is no excuse for using it

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:42:28

well obviously feel free to not use any language you deem innapropriate, but i think youre wrong to think that it says anything much about the person using the word and their goodwill or lack of, towards disabled people, and youre most likely wrong to think a few kids useage of an out of date term as an insult, makes the slightest bit of difference to anything

SunshineMMum Sun 13-Oct-13 13:42:42

Absolutely 100% agree with you. It is bandied about so much at school and yet disability hate labels are never challenged in the same way that other prejudices are.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 13-Oct-13 13:44:20

I totally agree OP, having spent most of my childhood being called this and many other similar terms, it is saddening to see them still in existence.

I do wonder though if somebody does have an undiagnosed spld, what terms should be used.
For instance in my case I was very slow, now I know its dyslexia but nobody knew 40 years ago. My teachers used to say things like the light is on but nobodies home, I still here this today.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 13-Oct-13 13:45:08

Hear, not here.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 13:47:36

Times change thankfully Branleuse. Along with autistic children no longer being removed from "refrigerator mothers" practises and terminology change, hopefully for the better and terms such as retard were coined when we have less knowledge than we do now. Insisting on your right to continue to use irrelevant and derogatory terms, that are insulting to many affected makes you sound rather poorly informed, ignorant and limited IMO. It's not about freedom more about you not wanting to improve your own knowledge base, seemingly preferring to remain in less enlightened times which is confused to me.

tilliebob Sun 13-Oct-13 13:48:51

YANBU. That's a horrible word. I heard some fud use the word "mongol" recently to describe a wee boy with Downs too angry I can't believe people these days think either word is acceptable!

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:50:27

LRD, I dont understand what youre saying. Im not trying to shut down any discussion. I just think while deleting people off facebook, or confronting people in RL about a word.

The words Stupid, and Idiot, are also out of date words that were originally descriptions of learning difficulties or disabilities.
They have lost their original meaning over time. These are words we all use. I amm struggling to see the difference, and to make a big thing about it, is patronising and a waste of time.

but ofc, if it makes you feel like youre doing something, and better about your compassion in general compared to others, then thats very sweet, iof misguided

MissStrawberry Sun 13-Oct-13 13:51:15

I also agree.

I was sympathetic to a poster's predicament until she used that word and now I am not interested in trying to help her.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 13:52:26

If people use it thoughtlessly, does it mean anything? That's what branleuse is asking, I think.

Clearly its not the same as a deliberate, calculated insult.

What it does say, though, is "you retards and spazzes are not real people, not my problem, not part of my life." The same people probably would no longer argue for casual use of Paki or Nigger or Wog and then say, "but I know some lovely coloured people".

Fr those of us with disabled family, sorry branleuse, but it tells us more about the real attitude towards disabled people of those who use these terms than those people would really want anyone to be able to work out.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 13-Oct-13 13:52:29

Yes..and please don't say people look or are "special". Mind you last time I objected to that I got called PC brigade and smartarses started saying I wanted the programme "Something Special" banned

juneybean Sun 13-Oct-13 13:53:13

I have american friends who detest this work so I don't think it's acceptable in the US.

juneybean Sun 13-Oct-13 13:53:23


Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:53:29

fwiw, i dont even remember when i last used the word. Im not campaigning for anyone to keep it in useage. Idgaf, but dont kid yourself that youre helping people by your superior non offensive insult choices.

If its a negative adjective, it is more than likely derived from something hideously offensive historically

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 13:56:03

What a weird attitude. Don't kid myself I am helping anyone, by objecting to a nasty casual insult that relates to them?

bran suggests that this is a matter of smug and futile political correctness, unrelated to any real compassion or action for the disabled. Unlikely, Bran, given how many of us posting here have disabled DC.

Could it possibly be that we actually know what we are talking about, and you are just wrong?

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 13:57:25

"I can't remember when I last used the word". Well, that's big of you. I have never used that word.

stillenacht Sun 13-Oct-13 14:00:18

I hear it at work (secondary teacher). My DS2 has low functioning autism. Every time I hear it, it crushes mehmm

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 14:01:03

i have 2 boys with learning disablitities BOB, if you read back.
I probably know more about issues relating to people with LD than a lot of people. I think this is irrelevent to my feelings about language evolution and slang

FreudiansSlipper Sun 13-Oct-13 14:01:35


how can anyone defend the use of the word. I am glad to see people on here being pulled about it

of course some will cry its the pc brigade moaning again

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 14:01:46

oh BoB youre so much better than me. I bow down to you! well done

Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 14:02:47

I actually found your last post quite confusing Branleuse

"Superior non offensive insult choices"

Surely ALL insults are intended to be offensive? that's the point.

Not helping people by objecting to the word "retard"?

Well I am affected by that word and have two children with autism and it helps ME and them to resist that word so that's three of us already and I am quite clearly not alone, given the response to this thread.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 13-Oct-13 14:02:50


Thankfully times have changed and your dc who have sn are not subjected to the same sort of constant verbal abuse that my generation were. At Least I hope they aren't.

I don't think many of my peers at school knew my name really. Perhaps a slight exageration there but even though I found the names offensive they were common place and people were defined by them, whather they were applicable or not.
Words I hate: stupid, thick, moron, imbecile, dumb, retard, and phrases like oh your in the window lickers group.

People just think what you are saying, thats all. Just stop and think.
I am a strong person but to hear these terms fills me with sickness and awful memories. No, it doesn't leave you and it is awful to think another generation could still be affected, after everything we have learned.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 13-Oct-13 14:03:11

To illustrate point about "special" as an insult..o bought my DD a birthday card yesterday with "to my special little girl" on it.

I wouldn't buy one with "special" little girl on it

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 13-Oct-13 14:03:35

The main point is Bran doesnt use it I suppose.

Divinity Sun 13-Oct-13 14:05:52

Newfavourite I'm epileptic and have always hated the name "Tegretol Retard" even though I realise that it's referring to the slow release of medicine.

Fortunately the manufacturers must have had this discussion and the boxes I get are now "Tegretol Prolonged Release Tablets". I'm very glad about it.

stillenacht Sun 13-Oct-13 14:06:03

Oh yes "special" is another onehmm "You're so 'special'" I hear that all the timehmm. Am glad its now 'additional educational needs' and not SN.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 14:06:46

Well we both have the same number of LD kids then, Bran, and I am baffled by your attitude frankly. We will have to agree to differ, but you might to pay attention to the fact that I am by no means the only person who disagrees with you.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 13-Oct-13 14:09:27


I am sorry, I just used the term sn as had no idea it is now additional educational needs.
So glad you have pointed this out. thanks

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 14:12:51

I think youre confusing a word, with peoplesd terrible behaviour.

If people are going to shout out insults at people for their disabilities, it isnt their choice of word thats the issue. Its the fact that theyre fucking arseholes who are bullying people less fortunate than themselves.
I honestly think people are hung up on language.

I dont think its a nice word, but it isnt supposed to be. I think its very current to concentrate on this word, when stupid, idiot, etc are not considered particularly problematic. I actually think its quite interesting which words people think its not ok to use, while ignoring others

SecretWitch Sun 13-Oct-13 14:13:48

I live in the US and have three children. Retard, tard or any other nasty form of retardation as an insult are not commonly heard. It is certainly not acceptable regardless of anything you might have seen on YouTube.

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 14:15:38

my opinions arent generally based on how many people agree or disagree with me BoB. Theyre down to my own thinking on the subject.
Always willing to be educated or to hear other peoples thoughts though. I like being challenged

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 13-Oct-13 14:16:56


I remember being shock when I found out the Black Eyes Peas song "Let's get it started" was actually released as "Let's get retarded" in America. They changed the lyrics slightly for the UK market.

DiamondMask Sun 13-Oct-13 14:24:36

If it hurts the targeted group Bran and they themselves request it isnt used then dont use it. The majority of disabled people say dont use it.
I think their opinion actually holds more weight than even parents of disabled children.
It is not up to the non-oppressed group to define what is ok and what isnt.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 14:25:23

Sorry that got cross, bran, lets debate your point about language.

I agree that "idiot" is a word that has lost its original sting and meaning, though it still has an unsettling effect on me, as I read a lot of earlier texts where that meaning is still current.

If retard becomes sanitised like idiot, does it matter? I suppose, once it becomes sanitised, maybe not. But it's the transition phase which is damaging. People using it without much thought will not see the issue, but those on the receiving end will feel just a tiny bit stabbed every time. I agree that arseholes who are deliberately insulting will say what they like, but in transition, the damage is done by its use by the people who are normally nice, but who use this word.

Once LD kids are adults and are leaving the bubble of school, in my experience they grieve a bit and their self esteem is hit by not being able to fit in easily. Especially if these words are not meant as insults, if they are just bouncing around the place, every little hurts. When a nice normal adult uses it, it's like a rug being pulled from under your feet. You think, oh, even this nice lady says that something is "spastic" when she means rubbish, or that this nasty and rude man was a "retard" for backing into her car. I have CP and LD, this is what she thinks about me underneath.

Branleuse Sun 13-Oct-13 14:34:25

I think those words became sanitised by overuse for non related things, and the fact that this happened before we were around, means we dont see it as current

stillenacht Sun 13-Oct-13 14:39:04

Morethan thats finesmile its fairly new (and will prob change again!) in educational settings x

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 13-Oct-13 14:50:57

Can I still use it in the technical sense?

YouTheCat Sun 13-Oct-13 15:11:10

I think it's important to challenge the use of that word. It is used, more often than not, by people who have a bloody awful attitude to disabled people.

Dd has a rather unpleasant little 'Apple' fanboy (her words) on her BTEC course who likes to bandy that word about and also refers to one of the tutors who has CP, as a 'spastic'. She (and some of her course mates) have reported him several times and he's now on a final warning.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 16:01:23

You can use it anyway you want.

If you use it in front of me I may think you are an arse but that may well not bother you.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 16:13:26

Bran they aren't sanitised yet, at least not where I live. Perhaps that is the difference?

YANBU at all OP.

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 16:41:14

I've just learnt from this thread that it's additional educational needs now, not SN.

But I was talking to a mother of a boy with ASD (she said autism but I am under the impression that ASD is correct, so will risk using that - happy to be corrected though) only this week who referred to his SN.

It is hard to keep abreast of devopements, but that said, I think it's quite clear that the 'r' word is used to hurt and insult and is therefore inappropriate.

I hate that word, the same as the n word, or the word 'ho' it's so reductive and demeaning. It's as though a whole group of people (with differing needs) are lumped together under one word. Grrr.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 13-Oct-13 16:47:39

Yes, stop.

My DD is a big rower, and in an eight they consider the weakest rower to be the one seated at three, and I have heard it referred to as the Threetard seat, by kids of different ages and from different clubs, adults too. angry

And it fucks me off. She has never used it, but I hear it, challenge it, loathe it.

Totally unacceptable.

stillenacht Sun 13-Oct-13 16:51:48

Somethingonce I guess I am 'lucky' to be a teacher and a mum to a severely autistic son so know that SN is thankfully being replaced by AEN. Even before having my DS I hated the use of the word 'special' in SN. Surely every child has special, individual needs!

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 16:56:45

still, could you explain about ASD and autism, as terms?

As I think I understand it, ASD encompasses the whole spectrum (clue being in the name) but I'm wondering
If I've misunderstood that!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 13-Oct-13 17:06:36

Agree. It shows that a 'retard' is something so bad to be that being called one is an insult. Therefore it shows an underlying attitude which is not respectful, kind or empathetic.

I personally think idiot has lost those connotations, and maybe fool (?), but then, this is based on personal experience so I don't know if this is a widely regarded feeling? I used to think cretin was the same but am now not sure reading things on here.

However words like spaz, mong, retard, they still have a definite emphasis on humiliation by comparison. Hateful words.

It's striking that the 'but it's just a word' attitudes are fine to level at these words, but n!gger and similar are regarded as so much more than 'just a word'.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 13-Oct-13 17:11:22

Fanjo I remember the 'something special' comments. I thought it was really funny... Until I realised that posters weren't actually joking.

stillenacht Sun 13-Oct-13 17:16:08

SomethingOnce thats absolutely it I think. ASD incorporates all autism as far as I know, AS is Aspergers Syndrome ... But then there's high functioning autism (which I think is different to AS although I live my life with LF autism so am not an 'expert' on anything HF)smile

stillenacht Sun 13-Oct-13 17:19:37

You see I really struggle cos I find Karl Pilkington, Gervais and Merchant funny but my lovely pal Nicky Clarke (Disability Campaigner) has had chats with Gervais about his use of the horrible word 'mong'. I hate that too. However I loved the Office and Extras and both programmes challenged the view of society regarding types of disability I think.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 13-Oct-13 17:20:50


"You can use it anyway you want.

If you use it in front of me I may think you are an arse but that may well not bother you."

I suppose if that makes someone who wants your car engine to run better an arse then so be it.

Tailtwister Sun 13-Oct-13 17:24:01

I don't like it and would never use it. I would be really ashamed if I heard either of my children using it in a derogatory way towards anyone, even if they meant it in jest.

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 17:27:05

Thank you, still.

I have thinking about disability lately as DD is at that stage of beginning to notice differences between people. I've been considering how to talk about it and the language to use. She's only three and it's a minefield - I worry that I will explain things badly and she will say the wrong thing and hurt the feelings of another child/family.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 17:28:34

Is there any good reaon why you are likely to be having a conversation with me and use it?
Or are you making a point about the fact that it may be appropriate in a specialist scenario.
Because that's not what we are talking about, is it?

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 17:29:47

I've reached the age of 51 without ever having a detailed conversation with someone about their endeavours to make my car engine run better.
Is it imminent?

SomethingOnce, the opinion of anyone who takes umbrage based on something a very small child says in all innocence really isn't worth tuppence.

Sorry about that ludicrously badly written sentence.

I meant, by all means raise your child to be lovely and considerate, but don't worry that she will "cause offence". She is three. No one should take offence at anything she says.

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 17:32:57

It may not be, but it never feels good to upset somebody.

And I think the assumption that 'they pick these things up from h

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 17:34:05

Yy. Somethingonce
Don't worry. Children question and say things quite innocently.
I have had some quite entertaining questions smile

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 13-Oct-13 17:35:04

"Is there any good reaon why you are likely to be having a conversation with me and use it?"

If you own a car or any form of motorised vehicle (even a lawnmower) or walking past two people talking about engines/car maintenance in the pub you may well end up having a conversation using the term retard in the technical sense.

"Or are you making a point about the fact that it may be appropriate in a specialist scenario.
Because that's not what we are talking about, is it?"

Actually the op wants to stop the use of the word "retard" completely, so yes it is relevant and not just in a specialist sense.

DreaduCated Sun 13-Oct-13 17:35:05

DSis said it once as a child. I've never seen my lovely DM so cross. Growing up friends used to laugh at me when I asked them not to say it. Apparently not having any kind of additional needs myself then I had no right to object to it.

Dawndonnaagain Sun 13-Oct-13 17:37:42

I honestly think people are hung up on language.
Bran language dictates a great deal of what we think, of how we think and function as a crowd. We have found better words to describe those with different needs, words that will hopefully become inclusive rather than exclusive.
Under this government disability hate crime has increased. This is because of the language used, shirker, skiver not striver, scrounger. These are all terms currently associated with those on benefits. Whilst many people with disabilities work, people don't see that, the crowd mentality dictates that they are disabled, ergo not working, (unable/able doesn't come into the thinking) ergo benefit scroungers. This government has used language very effectively to create an insidious little narrative.

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 17:39:24

Bloody phone!

... from home' makes me even keener to get it right.

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 17:41:21

Also, she won't be three forever.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 17:41:39

Why not just say that then Boney? The average person isn't going to know that. Did it make you feel clever? Well good for you.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 17:42:48

Do you know, I wanted to take your scenario seriously but I am seriously struggling BoneyBack

Seriously. I'm 51. I have avoided that situation so far.

And my post that prompted yours said 'I may..'

So if two people are having a private conversation about engine components there is every probability I will broadly ignore them.

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 17:43:40

It was a really desperate attempt tbh.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 17:44:14

Oh boney that is just childish. What on earth is the point?

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 13-Oct-13 17:45:05

"Did it make you feel clever? Well good for you."

This obviously touches a nerve for you. but not everyone that uses the term means it in an insulting way.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 17:45:53

Cn I add another one? When people describe self-centred, often aggressive, socially inept behaviour at work they will often say "x is so autistic". I say, really, does he get funding? And they look at bit blush. But it really doesn't help colleagues with autism, if the popular view is that it's all about being a sociopath...

Pagwatch Sun 13-Oct-13 17:46:18

You point is pathetic boney. Honestly.

Viviennemary Sun 13-Oct-13 17:46:29

It's a horrible word and in no way acceptable. I don't think I've seen it on MN though.

thebody Sun 13-Oct-13 17:46:40

when my dd and all her friends were all badly hurt in an accident with critical to minor injuries they all referred to each other as spaz etc as in ' come on you spaz'.

it jarred with us but who were we to day anything. they used it as a joke to help/ motivate each other.

life isn't black and white.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 17:46:59

Boney- practically everybody does. You know that full well.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 17:47:42

Then explain that. I for one would be interested in knowing there is an alternative use for the word. I'm not sure why you were like that on what is obviously quite a sensitive thread for some.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 17:50:49

Would it be ok for your dd and her mates to be racist or sexist because they'd been in an accident thebody?

thebody Sun 13-Oct-13 17:57:09

well that's a stupid thing to say isn't it?

2 are in wheel chairs with spinal injuries and the rest have scars and other problems.

to be honest what they say amongst themselves is ok with us, they have earned the right to take the piss out of themselves and each other.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 17:59:59

Well I am sorry for that of course but I don't think it's a stupid thing to say. I think it's a perfect example of how disablist terms are considered less serious and less important than other kinds of prejudice.

Btw I have two dc with autism but I don't feel that WE have earned to right to use those terms.

Beastofburden Sun 13-Oct-13 18:00:18

There is an alternative, very specialised, use of that word that would only ever be used in a technical conversation about cars. Which is clearly not what is being discussed here.

For boney to deliberately play the smart arse shows that we have a long way to go before people like that even care about the basic issue of offending people.

Dawndonnaagain Sun 13-Oct-13 18:02:27

Sparkly this is quite common. My dd calls herself 'spackylegs' and spaz. She has a form of cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. There are times when these terms are acceptable. However, much training has been used in that she, her brother and her sister have AS, so teaching when the use of such language is appropriate and when it is not, has been implemented.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 13-Oct-13 18:04:51

Some people are beyond hope aren't they..

Well done boney

Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 18:07:04

My son has Hyper mobility with a score of 7 out of 9 on the beighton scale, so pretty high, google it if you want to know more and struggles with gross and fine motor skills every day of his life he would be devastated if we used those terms to describe him. It's obviously a very personal thing.

Dawndonnaagain Sun 13-Oct-13 18:14:42

I think it may be just that, in the same way that they describe themselves as Aspies, too.
I know about hypermobility too. Dd2 knows the name of most of the A&E staff now, she has subluxed many a joint!

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 18:16:40

Sorry, this is a bit off topic, but if the term is AEN now, why has the MN section not been renamed to reflect this? Or is SN still valid outside the education context?

Tbh, I think many would assume that if it's still used on MN, then it's appropriate language to use.

coldwinter Sun 13-Oct-13 18:20:26

I can't believe anyone still uses words like retard!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 13-Oct-13 18:52:53

I'm in the US and it is extremely common here. When I filled in the questionnaire about my and my husband's health at the OB/GYN office, under the list of potential conditions we could have ticked boxes for was 'mental retardation'. I hate the term personally, but it seems to be used as though it isn't offensive here.

thebody Sun 13-Oct-13 19:13:11

the point I was trying to make is WE arnt using those terms at all, wouldn't dream of it but it's the girls themselves who are to each other.

are fat people not allowed to make fat jokes about themselves? Miranda and dawn French would be buggered then!

how about understanding a little bit how bloody devastating it is at 13 for lives to be suddenly and completely changed in a second.

no we don't feel its 'appropriate' for us parents to say we know better.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 13-Oct-13 19:18:03

I have TWO dc with multiple disabilities. I don't think lack of understanding of life changing conditions is my problem to be quite honest.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 13-Oct-13 20:46:22

Ooh Sparkly I'm a 9 so I feel his pain poor love. The test you want to do badly in isn't it.

soul2000 Sun 13-Oct-13 21:17:21

This is a horrible word for me as bad as using the "N word.

I have heard this word said to kids for making silly or stupid mistakes and it is obvious the kids have very little understanding of the word.

If you go back in time to the 1980 s some of you will be aware the word "JOEY" was also a word that was used to attack people in a vile way.

For people who don't know what "JOEY" means Joey Deacon was a severally handicapped man who came to be known though being helped
by Blue Peter. Every day going to school in the 80 s you would hear kids being terribly bullied by being called "JOEY" dreadful. the teachers did not understand what "JOEY" meant and when people complained where told that a "JOEY" is a baby kangaroo. This is the same sort of name calling and bullying that in some ways is far worse than physical bullying.

AnaisHellWitch Sun 13-Oct-13 21:26:27

I remember the Joey thing. Awful.

I am quite honestly amazed and disappointed that this thread is still going after the points made during the first half of it.

My DD is thirteen and at a very susceptible age but she would never use this kind of language, ever.

sanssoleil Sun 13-Oct-13 21:49:48

IME,The only teenagers I know who frequently use this offensive word to each other on social networking sites and in RL are the ones in private education....

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 13-Oct-13 21:56:11


Your experience is different to mine. It was very much in use at my state school (I left 6 years ago) and is still in use at the state school my dp teaches at. This is no good thing of course.

The use of the word is not a class thing.

lougle Sun 13-Oct-13 21:58:27

We all know that retard has different meanings hmm

Retard, the verb - fine. Use it if it is technically correct.

Retard, the noun - Never. Ever.

Google Sassure - the linguistic sign.

The signifier (Retard) points to a concept (the signified).

In this case, you are signifying 'someone so stupid, so inept, so idiotic that it would be a complete insult to be thought of like that.'

So you're right, the word, the signifier 'retard' is not offensive. However, until the signified is not ''someone so stupid, so inept, so idiotic that it would be a complete insult to be thought of like that.', then it is and always will be an awful word.

sanssoleil Sun 13-Oct-13 22:03:44

obviously only my observation in the city I live in.

Beastofburden Mon 14-Oct-13 10:50:55

I dont see any issue with young disabled people using a bit of black humour to get through things. If another disabled person hears them, they will immediately get why they are doing it.

It's when your teacher, or your doctor, or your friend's mum says something is "spastic" or another driver is a "retard" or a colleague is "so autistic he thinks we all care about this" that the damage is done.

SunshineMMum Mon 14-Oct-13 14:12:42

I think that you are wrong there Beast. I don't want my disabled son to use the word retard, because it has become an accepted cultural norm. He isn't able to distinguish between the ways in which it is being used, i.e. bandied about between all children as opposed to being a 'disabalist' comment. How can I fight his corner when I child comes straight out from a ticking off from the form tutor and say 'Well you actually ARE a retard', if he then uses it in retaliation?

Beastofburden Mon 14-Oct-13 16:56:56

Well, that is true, sunshine. I wouldnt want my LD son using that kind of language either, not least as he has no idea of irony or social context. But I cant help but have sympathy with what thebody describes.

Maybe it is the fact that it is easier to laugh at yourself if you have a physical disability, but very difficult to laugh with someone with a learning disability, as the level of informed consent just can't be the same?

SunshineMMum Mon 14-Oct-13 17:19:32

I do totally get the black humour element for those with physical disabilities. Complete lack of any concept of irony for DS too.

It always surprises me how many people defend their right to use such a shitty word. Because their right to use the word obviously trumps the rights of people who might be upset to not hear it...

FyreFly Mon 14-Oct-13 22:12:12

I see the points, and I myself never use the word, but exactly where does it stop? Where does one draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable?

lougle says retard as a noun is never acceptable - but what about things such as flame retardent or the musical use (a retard in music is a point where the tempo slows) etc?

Someone earlier said that "tardy", as in late or (physically) slow, was alright, but it comes from the exact same route (eg modern French: en/du retard - to be late), in much the same vein as words such as moron / imbecile.

I've seen many posters on here, when talking about words such as "cretin" say that it doesn't matter what it's modern use is, the historical use is awful and ergo any use in any context is unacceptable. But in this thread, posters have said that some use is alright, others isn't, as it depends on context.

Do you see where this causes confusion and problems in thrashing out exactly which words are acceptable and which aren't? I genuinely believe that most people really aren't intending to be horrible if they use one of these - if, of course, someone yells a word as an insult in the street, completely wrong. But I wouldn't be expected to be taken to task for (for example), using the word faggot in the butchers.

National borders can also change popular use and meaning, and in our increasingly global society, it can be hard to get it right 100% of the time.

Like I said, I don't believe most people set out with the intention to hurt. Some do, but they're arseholes, and they will be no matter what phrasing they use. I also don't think people should be crucified for questioning what may be long-held understandings. Humans are fallable and language is large and complex.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 14-Oct-13 22:27:28

Don't use the word retard to describe someone with disabilities either about them or to the face and you'll be just fine. Perhaps if you're a doctor using it a technical sense then maybe it's necessary, but as I understand it it is not now in common use as a medical term.

I'm not sure what's confusing about that tbh. Posters have been VERY clear on this thread about the context in which it's offensive. I honestly don't feel it can be compared to using the word "faggot" in the butchers.

TheGlovesAreOrf Mon 14-Oct-13 22:31:31

I agree. I had a huge falling out with a friend of many years because his constant use of that word.

The final straw came when he used that word in the same sentence as calling women who wear short skirts 'sluts'.

Awful person.

yonisareforever Mon 14-Oct-13 22:34:59

Its not acceptable surely MN is deleting and stuff posts that use that word?

lougle Mon 14-Oct-13 22:37:55

retardent isn't retard - the clue is in the 'ent' on the end. It means 'to impede'. Nothing at all similar to retard in use as a noun.

tardy isn't retard - the clue is in the missing 're' and extra 'y'. It means late. Again, nothing at all similar to retard in use as a noun.

retard in a musical sense - it's actually an Italian word 'ritardando' which is used. If you are concerned someone may be insulting the music, you can use that instead.

If 'don't use retard as a noun' is too difficult for you, perhaps the suggested rule could be:

"Never call a human being a retard."

Or are you going to justify that, some how? hmm

lougle Mon 14-Oct-13 22:41:04

Some people are genuinely ignorant unaware. I used to play a particular online game which had guilds. Someone said 'what a retard'. I said 'Please don't use that word. My DD is 'retarded'. It's offensive.' I got an apology and that individual never used the word again (in my sight).

Some people are more concerned about their freedom of expression and can't bear to lose one word from their vocabulary.

VeloWoman Mon 14-Oct-13 22:44:23

I agree with you OP, it always makes me uncomfortable when DS specialists use the term 'growth retardation' but obviously they are using it in a medical sense.

When people use it as an insult though it makes me want to smack them.

YouTheCat Mon 14-Oct-13 23:01:23

Lougle, do you play WoW? Our guild won't tolerate any of that sort of language.

lougle Tue 15-Oct-13 10:50:03

I used to YouTheCat. Not any more. I play TERA now smile

Dawndonnaagain Tue 15-Oct-13 10:55:50

"Never call a human being a retard."
This, every single time.

Latara Tue 15-Oct-13 12:49:52

I'm sick of the term ''a bit special'' - I've heard it too often lately, at first I didn't realise exactly what it meant but now I do and I challenge people when I hear it.

YouTheCat Tue 15-Oct-13 12:53:07

I'd not heard of that one, Lougle. I shall have to tell dp as he's always on the look out for new free to play games. smile

Weller Tue 15-Oct-13 13:01:38

Special where I live is now speckle in a baby voice just in case the person does not understand! Whilst words from the past need never be used again more must be done to stop the misuse of words before each generation creates a new list of abhorrent words from perfectly good words.

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 13:08:00

I wouldnt say it in public,but in this house,we say spastic all the time,for when someones being stupid.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 15-Oct-13 13:09:28

Thanks for sharing that hmm

Sparklysilversequins Tue 15-Oct-13 13:09:28

Why wouldn't you say it in public?

YouTheCat Tue 15-Oct-13 13:09:56

Why? Why not just say stupid or daft or some other non-offensive adjective?

You wouldn't say it in public - grand. But I bet your kids would if you have normalised that foul word.

Pagwatch Tue 15-Oct-13 13:12:45


It is just relentless.

coldwinter Tue 15-Oct-13 13:16:23

You wouldn't say it in public, because you know it is wrong to say it. So don't say it in the house either.

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 13:21:19

Because its a funny sounding word,saying stupid doesn't have the same ring to it.

I am talking out my arse,i would say it in public,i just haven't said it yet!I would call one of my friends a spastic if they were doing something stupid.

The children know loads of swearwords,it doesn't bother me,they don't say them in an aggressive way or to be nasty,because they've never seen it used that way,they know that certain words aren't nice to say in certain situations.

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 13:22:13

how can it be wrong to say a word in your own house???its my house,i can say whatever i want to!People just want to be offended at everything!

DiamondMask Tue 15-Oct-13 13:25:09

I'm glad I dont know you. I have a daughter with cerebral palsy who would be heartbroken if she heard you using that word. Stupid = like someone with cerebral palsy.
Enjoy upsetting little girls do you?

Pagwatch Tue 15-Oct-13 13:27:20

Anyone who uses spastic is a cunt.


YouTheCat Tue 15-Oct-13 13:27:31

Ring, you are setting a terrible example for your children.

If you can't see that then I despair and this means my dd's tutor (who has CP) will have to put up with more ill-educated little fuckers in her class calling her a 'spaz'. Just lovely hmm

Pagwatch Tue 15-Oct-13 13:28:45

Actually it's true.

I'm sitting in my house saying 'jeez, x poster is such a fucking twat' but that's just private so no worries.

coldwinter Tue 15-Oct-13 13:28:46

Yes ring, you can say what you want in your own house. You are still wrong to say it.

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 13:29:37

Diamond Mask

Thats actually quite upsetting,i have a little girl and if she had something the idea of someone upsetting her by using horrible words actually makes me want to cry.I would kill them.You have really made me think.


Pagwatch Tue 15-Oct-13 13:29:50

I agree with the bit of your post where you say you are talking out of your arse too actually.

DiamondMask Tue 15-Oct-13 13:30:18

your kids will go out and repeat it Ring and use it in the hearing of disabled children and hurt them. Makes you feel proud.
Pag was right.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 15-Oct-13 13:30:53

You sound really awful and it sounds like you're bringing up your children to be the same.

If you used that word in public, which you won't because you're full of shit, people would be disgusted by you and I hope would confront you. I certainly would.

TheBigJessie Tue 15-Oct-13 13:31:15

I really don't think that appropriate language and when which words beginning with R are appropriate is that complex.

Using a word derived from the old medical terminology for what might now be called Global Development Delay, in order to convey, "that was so silly, I think you acted like someone with a mental disability" is completely and utterly different to using a cognate appropriately when discussing deaccelerating forces on a car. My husband and I can avoid using insulting vocabulary about disabilities and use mathematical vocabulary without causing offence.

I did not realise managing that was the crowning achievement of my life (esp as I hated the Mechanics unit in A-level maths and only got a C). grin

GobbySadcase Tue 15-Oct-13 13:31:56

Why is this even up for discussion?
Nobody debates why the n word is offensive, it's just accepted as such.

Is it because disablism is still accepted?

GobbySadcase Tue 15-Oct-13 13:31:56

Why is this even up for discussion?
Nobody debates why the n word is offensive, it's just accepted as such.

Is it because disablism is still accepted?

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 13:33:02

I disagree about that,my kids can say what they want at home so they dont feel the need to go out and say outrageous words to random kids.Ive actually seen it in action,the kids that say the rudest and nasty things are the most tightly controlled ive ever seen!

DiamondMask Tue 15-Oct-13 13:33:04

cross posts there Ring. I hope you are thinking. I've had adult women and well as kids call dd a 'spazz' and a 'retard' just because she has cerebral palsy. She's a little girl ffs. Big grown women thinking it was funny. Those words hurt and the more they are said, and the more non disabled children hear them and use them the more little children with CP will be hurt, sitting defenceless in their wheelchairs. My child cant answer back because she cant speak but she understands and she can cry.

Pagwatch Tue 15-Oct-13 13:37:02

So your children just have to say spastic or somehow they will explode?

They have to say it at home to release their urge to be deeply spiteful, rather than you teaching them to not talk about other human beings in a really nasty way.

Do they say nigger at home too because, well everyone should be allowed to use that in private?

Dawndonnaagain Tue 15-Oct-13 13:40:58

Dawndonna's 17 year old dd hear. I note Mum put up earlier that I use the term 'spaz'. I do. I'm a wheelchair user, I have spasticity in my legs, makes them not work too well. How dare you, even in the comfort of your own home use that word, and then come into my home to tell me that you use it. You see, everytime you put something on the internet, it is a gateway into another persons home. So, Ringaring, every time you say Spaz because someone has done or said something daft, you insult me, and make no bones about letting me know that. I consider that to be extremely rude and very hurtful. You see, I'm not stupid, I got A* for my gcses. I will probably get them for my A levels too. Not in the least bit stupid, in fact clever and with far better manners than you and your family. Kindly keep your abhorrent views to yourself in future those of us with disabilities don't appreciate your kind of sharing.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 15-Oct-13 13:41:59


YouTheCat Tue 15-Oct-13 13:43:21

Waves at DawnDonna's dd

Well said, as always.

Beastofburden Tue 15-Oct-13 13:46:27

Second what diamond says. It hurts even more when the child hears what looks like a nice normal lady saying it. You expect abuse from some people, but when a mummy is overheard saying it, it feels as if the whole world despises you.

DarkVelvetySilkyShiraz Tue 15-Oct-13 13:48:27

I went to school with a girl who had cerebal palsy, I will never forget her face as she walked down the corridor passed our classroom and someone shouted out " spastic" as she went past on crutches.

Actually the person shouting it wasn't even aware she was walking past.

Thankfully, I think we are winning, I rarely here the word anymore. Retard is still doing the rounds though, but all less than when I was a child.

People keep on kicking up a fuss!

DarkVelvetySilkyShiraz Tue 15-Oct-13 13:51:13

Ive actually seen it in action,the kids that say the rudest and nasty things are the most tightly controlled ive ever seen

not about being tightly controlled, about empathy, being sensitive being human and also thinking - there by the grace of god go I, being in a wheel chair is a fate that could befall us all.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 15-Oct-13 13:56:02

Shhh, I'm supposed to be doing German revision! grin

(and Thank you)!

Thistledew Tue 15-Oct-13 13:58:09

I do think it is interesting how some words can lose their original meaning and impact, but some haven't. For example:

Words that are really not ok to use to describe someone:
Schitzo (sp?)

Words that have original meanings in disability/mental health, but are pretty innocuous now:

And some words that are still capable of causing offence, but are getting close to losing their original connotations:
Mong - when used as a verb rather than a noun "I'm just going to mong out on the sofa this afternoon" - I think most people connect this to smoking a bong and getting stoned rather than describing themselves as disabled.
Cretin - Originally a term used to describe people with multiple disabilities, but I would hazard a guess that the majority of the population have no idea of the original meaning, and so it will become no more offensive than describing someone who is doing something dangerous and daft as a lunatic (without actually meaning to insinuate that they have mental health issues).

you sound a bit lacking, ringa.

DiamondMask Tue 15-Oct-13 14:01:33

A perfect example of where some children get these words from Ring

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 15-Oct-13 14:02:23

Dawndonna's dd - that was an excellent post. Best of luck with your revision!

MarmaladeBatkins Tue 15-Oct-13 14:06:15

Ring, you are normalising these words which means that your children won't think twice about using them in public.

And your attitude about doing what we want in OUR house smacks if entitlement, immaturity and twattery.

Thumbwitch Tue 15-Oct-13 14:13:12

I will point out that it's not just in America that the word is still frequently bandied about, especially on chat threads, especially FB (yes I know, dreadful place etc. etc.) - I have friends in Australia who use it frequently.

One of them has 3 children with AEN (thanks for the update!) - one is autistc, another is being assessed for being autistic and we're not sure what's going on with the 3rd one yet. She herself is a nurse and says "I don't know why we have 3 kids who are retarded". She's not being rude, it's just what she knows.

Another is a boy with Asperger's - well actually he is now a man as he has just turned 18. Not only does he use the word about himself but calls his friends the same, even though they don't have Asperger's. His stepfather calls him the same name but with spite and venom attached (completely unacceptable even here).

The poster with whom MissStrawberry lost sympathy is in Australia, she did not call anyone the name but mentioned that someone was "retarded" therefore using the adjectival form - it's not unusual here.

Australian teens are very into American culture as well - and although the word may be being phased out of general use by American adults, it certainly doesn't seem to be among the youth! And is still in common use among the ignorant over there, with little to no backlash that I've seen. Anyone who picks up on it is jeered at.

All that aside, I really really do hope that people stop using it as a descriptor. Ditto fuckt**d.

EeTraceyluv Tue 15-Oct-13 14:24:14

I would call one of my friends a spastic if they were doing something stupid. My mouth actually dropped open at this

ringaringarosy Tue 15-Oct-13 14:36:24

im not sure what to say really.

Theyve never said the word,but if they did i dont think i would tell them off unless they were saying it to be nasty to someone.I guess i just see it as any otherword,i dont really think of the connotations.

I think i need to think about this,so does dh because he says stuff like tihs all the time,and hes a big respectful businessman too!i dont want the kids to be cruel and if any of mine were disabled the idea of someone hurting their feelings like that would absolutley crush me.

I dont say any racist words and if i heard the kids say anything like that i would be fuming and want to know where they got it from,i guess its the same isnt it?racim,sexism,disable ism (is that a word?)theydo say "thats gay" aswell,though they picked that up at school,i think i will pick them up on that the next time i hear them say it and explain it all.

YouTheCat Tue 15-Oct-13 14:37:51

Good for you, Ring. smile

TheBigJessie Tue 15-Oct-13 14:40:47

Ring flowers
Thank you for actually thinking about people's posts in this thread.

People, we could be on a roll of change here!

how very disarming of you ringa! well done.

Owllady Tue 15-Oct-13 14:46:04

I can't quite believe people use it.

When we were on holiday we had taken my daughter out for a meal, she has severe learning disabilities and eating out/somewhere different is a huge thing for her. She was fine smile sitting happily eating her dinner. This couple arrived and were seated on the table behind us. He said to his wife, loud enough for me to hear, 'don't look now but there is a Joey behind you'

anyone who thinks a little girl behaving herself, out for a meal with her family deserves that needs shooting quite frankly. People who trot out 'oh here comes the PC brigade' usually have no experience day to day with dealing with the ignorance surrounding disabilities.

Sparklysilversequins Tue 15-Oct-13 14:51:11

shock I would have been tempted to assist him in WEARING his dinner owllady. What an ARSE!

Good for you ring. And yes Disablism IS a word smile.

ThePuffyShirt Tue 15-Oct-13 14:56:30

It is an awful word.

The other day my 15 year old son, normally intelligent and mostly nice to be around, called his brother in the heat of an argument - 'a mong'.

I was absolutely shocked. After I had finished ranting at admonishing him, he confessed it is a word constantly bandied around in his school.

How depressing.

EeTraceyluv Tue 15-Oct-13 14:57:03

Thank goodness for that Ring grin. It really is a horrible word. And 'gay' too - it suggests that being 'gay' is something to be ashamed of.
Owllady. I would have also invited him to taste his dinner close up

ThePuffyShirt Tue 15-Oct-13 14:57:38

Owllady - that is shocking.

Thumbwitch Tue 15-Oct-13 15:03:29

Owllady - how awful! sad
I'd have probably been more PA about it and said something like "Don't look now, DD but there's someone with absolutely no manners sitting just behind you" loud enough for him to hear it. But then again I'd have probably just kept my head down and prayed that my DD didn't hear him. What a tosser he was! angry

Dawndonnaagain Tue 15-Oct-13 15:22:43

Ring thanks
We are very appreciative, thank you. Dd (who is doing her German now) says Thank you for 'listening'.

Beastofburden Tue 15-Oct-13 16:30:03

Thanks, ring. My DS2 would also be grateful if he could understand.

Owllady Tue 15-Oct-13 17:45:14

The thing was she didn't know and wouldn't know, I think that is what is the most upsetting as she is incredibly vulnerable, as are all people with severe learning disabilities. So why mock? What is so funny about mocking someone so vulnerable?

I was absolutely fuming and I couldn't even say anything either as she cannot cope with confrontation, loud noises, people arguing either. I shot him a look, he knew I knew what he had said. His wife looked mortified. Well spoken middle aged couple ffs

Something incredibly difficult was made worse by someone thinking they were being clever/funny. Something that actually should have been enjoyable because it was success and success is very difficult when you have someone in your family that is so challenging

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