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To not know what to say?

(85 Posts)
MummyPig24 Tue 09-Oct-12 16:57:09

Moved house a few weeks ago and this morning saw the girl next door. Asked her to come over after school with her kids. They never turned up, I thought they might have been held up at school. After about 45mins I went up stairs. and saw her kids in the garden so I popped round and knocked but no answer. I know I'm being a bit socially retarded here but what do I say next time I see her? Do I knock and say something like "I think we got our wires crossed, I was expecting you, maybe we can arrange another time". Or do I just wait till we bump into each other again and mention it?

austenozzy Tue 09-Oct-12 18:08:23

What's 'Disablist, racist, sexist', Ellen? Am I missing something here?

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 18:11:31

MamaMumR was saying that Spaz and Mong are comparable insults, but Nigger is different, in a different league, maybe? I was merely stating that I find disablist insults just as offensive as racist ones, and indeed sexist ones.

austenozzy Tue 09-Oct-12 18:12:47

Ah, I see. Well, we agree there!

Chundle Tue 09-Oct-12 18:12:51

if you were my neighbour and used the word retarded I certainly wouldnt be bringing my kids over

austenozzy Tue 09-Oct-12 18:17:58

Good job she didn't, chundle.

extremepie Tue 09-Oct-12 18:21:10

It does seem to be that some people feel that certain 'ist' comments are in a hierarchy and some are worse that others, which is stupid in my mind.

Prejudiced comments of any description are all just as bad, one is not worse than another they are all just as offensive.

Chundle Tue 09-Oct-12 18:32:33

i agree with extremepie all 'ist' words are on par with each other regardless

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 09-Oct-12 18:32:36

"I guess these things are easier if you do not have a very bright child at risk of being called a retard due to his disabilities"

yes, or one who isn't conventionally bright, to be fair.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 09-Oct-12 18:36:21

it's not worse to be called it if you are "very bright" wink

TheLightPassenger Tue 09-Oct-12 18:36:27

to be fair to OP, she has apologised for any offence caused by her wording of the post.

otherwise I don't see how Madmouse was offensive or ignorant, just to the point confused

WofflingOn Tue 09-Oct-12 18:40:39

You are right, austenozzy, all of us who object to the word retarded are just being over-sensitive really.
So the fact that seven of the children in my class are bastards shouldn't cause anyone any problems then. I can call them that because their parents aren't married, and according to the dictionary definition, that's what they are.

threesocksmorgan Tue 09-Oct-12 18:44:31

why is madmouses post offensive?
don't get that at all

GoSakuramachi Tue 09-Oct-12 18:44:46

Way to miss a point.

WofflingOn Tue 09-Oct-12 18:49:19

I can't see anything offensive about madmouse's posts. confused
You can be very able, and have a disability that draws insults like 'retard' and 'spaz' very easily.
Retard is too open to misinterpretation to be a word to use lightly any longer, times change.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 09-Oct-12 18:49:43

No one is calling anyone anything!

austenozzy Tue 09-Oct-12 18:55:24

WofflingOn, you've totally missed the point of what I was trying to get across. The OP's use of the word was misinterpreted, and several of us are simply pointing out she wasn't being offensive, and that the word 'retarded' has multiple uses entirely unrelated to any kind of medical condition or insult.

manicinsomniac Tue 09-Oct-12 18:55:50

have we even confirmed that the 'language' comment was aimed at the use of the phrase 'socially retarded'. Because, I didn't even register that bit, I thought the comment was about the reference to a grown woman with kids as a 'girl' grin

But, regardless, I wouldn't bring it up unless she does OP. I'd feel awkward reminding someone that they were supposed to come round.

austenozzy Tue 09-Oct-12 18:56:54

<stage whisper>
Anyone feel like they're suddenly in Private Eye's 'from the messageboards' column?
</stage whisper>

threesocksmorgan Tue 09-Oct-12 18:59:57

there is no excuse to use the r word anymore.
anymore than you can excuse the use of the s word or racist words.

austenozzy Tue 09-Oct-12 19:11:02

threerocks - What, in every situation, ever? Nonsense.

What about when a chemist needs to describe the fraction of an analyte in the mobile phase of a chromatographic system? Are they no longer allowed to refer to the retardation factor in planar chromatography, in case someone gets inexplicably offended?

What if a physicist is defining the electromagnetic potentials for the electromagnetic field generated by time-varying electric current or charge distributions - can they not describe the electromagnetic retarded potentials?

And nobody has told me what I should've said when talking to a fellow dog walker about my laurels.

(heavy doses of wikipedia copy/paste, in case you hadn't noticed...)

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Oct-12 19:16:46

manic - or referring to children as the offspring of goats?

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 19:21:02

Same old chestnuts. The OP said, I know I'm being a bit socially retarded here. No, she wasn't. That is like some teenager saying to his mate, 'Am I being a bit retarded or what?' It's unnecessary and if people don't realise how offensive it is then I'm happy to explain it to them in the hope that they will think twice next time and use words that are less offensive. The OP obviously didn't realise her words were offensive and has accepted that and apologised. It's others that keep on banging on about completely different scenarios. Electro magnetic potentials, FFS!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 09-Oct-12 19:25:24


Not sure if you are referring to me

I was trying to be haplessly lighthearted. I'm not really comparing the two smile

I think it's good to air this. I agree that the recognition of disablist language is way behind the recognition of sexist or racist language, and it's important to educate.

Ageist language also gets a bit of an outing on here sometimes

hazeyjane Tue 09-Oct-12 19:26:54

The thing is, there are other perfectly good words to use - 'I am socially inept' for example. Saying 'I am socially retarded' or 'I am a social retard' is just unnecessary.

Having said that, it is a shame that the op has lost the point of what her thread was about, especially as she has apologised.

hazeyjane Tue 09-Oct-12 19:29:14

By the way, someone shared this article with me earlier about the use of the word 'retarded' by Ann Coulter, the US politician. I thought it was a good article.

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