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use of the word 'moron'

(138 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

could it be banned? do others find it offensive? I have seen it on 3 threads today already, should I report or just ignore? it has come up before and yet still I feel we have learnt nothing when users still put in in their posts. sad

smoothieooo Wed 20-Jul-16 12:48:53

I'm not particularly offended by its usage. I think it comes from the Greek for child. I can think of words I'm much more offended by...

WibblyWobblyJellyHead Wed 20-Jul-16 12:50:04

Do you also want to ban 'idiot'? Where does it end?

Language evolves. There are lots of disablist words that shouldn't be used but 'moron' has just meant stupid or thick forever now. I really can't find it offensive.

ApostrophesMatter Wed 20-Jul-16 12:53:08

I agree, language evolves. The medical definition is no longer in use. There are far more offensive words to get worked up about.

gillybeanz Wed 20-Jul-16 12:55:38

I find it very offensive and always say so.
The trouble is unless everyone agrees it's offensive people carry on using it.
It has physical effects on me for reasons I don't wish to talk about.

You can report but newt will happen as it isn't disablist, racist or anything else people find offensive.
I haven't seen it but it would turn my stomach, I'd feel sick, sometimes a panic attack and often a tear or two.

but it's fine to use offensive words apparently.

lljkk Wed 20-Jul-16 12:56:38

The meaning has changed. Words change meaning.
I wouldn't care b/c it's not a word I use (ever? much?) but why should MN police strict adherence to narrow word definitions that stopped applying decades ago?

Ban these because of their offensive origins??

What about all of these?

and these, and so on.

lljkk Wed 20-Jul-16 12:58:01

Here you go, this thread has a very racist title according to one of those links I just gave.

gillybeanz Wed 20-Jul-16 12:58:01

Oh and to me, apart from similar meaning words there aren't any more offensive words I could possibly get worked up about.
It's offensive if it offends somebody, there's no word more offensive than any other.

gillybeanz Wed 20-Jul-16 13:01:44

Words evolve and we don't use them any more. We have evolved from using the "n" word, but bloody hell if you used it now.
Would it still be offensive to use the word "spastic' or it's shortened version, of course it would even though we've moved on in medical terms.

M***n, see I can't even write it, is an offensive word if it offends people and I should imagine a fair few of my generation are offended by it's use.

ToxicLadybird Wed 20-Jul-16 13:06:38

The only place I've ever seen people complain, quite vociferously, about its use is here on MN.

In real life I hear hear it frequently and nobody's bothered apart from the one on being called it.

lyraj Wed 20-Jul-16 13:06:58

I'd be surprised you managed to get it banned and I'm not very offended if I hear it. But I don't think it's a pleasant word or one I'd use and I'd discourage any DC from using.

GipsyDanger Wed 20-Jul-16 13:11:18

That's an eye opener for me. It's common language where I come from. In fact, in the Goldbergs, the father regularly calls his children morons, same with mongo. Means 'stupid' or 'thick'
To be fair, 'hoi bawbag' is a common greating, so maybe we're not the best example

bakedappleflavour Wed 20-Jul-16 13:12:02

Oh ffs hmm

Queenbean Wed 20-Jul-16 13:14:41

There have been other threads where people have said that idiot and moron are offensive and should be banned

There was a long debate on the phrase "beyond the pale" and "having a paddy" which are apparently racist to Irish people

Personally I think that language changes and evolves and none of those are offensive. But I also think it depends upon the intention of the user and someone can choose whether or not to be offended

lljkk Wed 20-Jul-16 13:15:24

cute, nervous, gay. They all used to have pretty negative original meanings.

usual Wed 20-Jul-16 13:17:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gillybeanz Wed 20-Jul-16 13:23:50

The original meaning of gay was not negative, in fact the opposite, it was "happy" only recently it had negative connotations.

For those who say language changes and evolves, then why is it not acceptable to use all the racist and disablist words we used to have?
New terms and diagnosis leading to the correct label being used, means we no longer use the words found to be offensive.
If they aren't offensive anymore why wouldn't we use them, after all they were originally acceptable.

Maybe the answer is because they offend people. They are used to bully and taunt, taken out of context and used to label people in a detrimental way.

Coconutty Wed 20-Jul-16 13:25:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gillybeanz Wed 20-Jul-16 13:27:10

M*n (no longer in technical use; now considered offensive) a person of borderline intelligence in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having an intelligence quotient of 50 to 69.

JessieMcJessie Wed 20-Jul-16 13:28:32

I was criticised on a thread for using "cretin". Upon googling its origin I learned that it was used to describe people with certain disabilities, but in a somewhat patronising way as it derives from the French word "chretien" meaning "Christian", so was used in a sort of "poor souls" type tone.

I'm still undecided as to whether or not to continue using it. It's in a similar vein to "idiot" for me.

hazeyjane Wed 20-Jul-16 13:31:19

One of the other categories of learning disability was 'idiot'. A word commonly used.

I don't use either because I know they upset people, but banning words is a tricksy road to go down.

RastafarianTargaryen Wed 20-Jul-16 13:31:37

FGS hmm

Even if I did find the word offensive (I don't) I wouldn't expect it to be banned. My offended-ness doesn't trump the freedom of speech of others.

Ilovetea82 Wed 20-Jul-16 13:34:25

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Wondermoomin Wed 20-Jul-16 13:41:54

I definitely don't think it should be banned. MN is the only place I've ever seen anyone get offended by it. No-one bats an eyelid at 'moron', 'idiot' etc in real life - of course it's an insult to call someone that, that's the whole point - but it's not offensive in the sense of being discriminatory, these words just don't exist in that meaning any more.

Of all the things one could choose to be offended about, I think this is a bit of a lame one (no offence intended - but see how easy it is to pick a word out of normal language and clutch your pearls in offence if you so choose?!)

ErrolTheDragon Wed 20-Jul-16 13:43:55

hmmnice response in the light of gillybeanz pain-filled posts, ilovetea.

Some terms which others think are fine can genuinely hurt people. When this is pointed out, the polite thing to do is say sorry and try not to do it again. I don't think that it is remotely feasible or desirable to ban all words which hurt ( not merely 'offend') but perhaps it would be possible for a post which contains such terms to be reported and for MN to send an explanation of why it is better to voluntarily avoid them?

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