Those of you who know me personally have probably guessed by now that my silence means I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it’s true. I’ve been suffering from severe headaches, some dizziness, depression – the “whole kit and kabuddle” as my mom would say. However, it is now time to “pull my socks up”, “get back on the horse”, “stop the lallygagging” and “get on with it”.
Another blogger and friend, Diane (2liveis2laughis2love) let me know that today is Spread the Word to the End the Word day – that word being “retard”. I can’t think of a better word for today’s Word Wednesday post.
From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: retard, verb1: to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment : impede 2: to delay academic progress by failure to promote
Also from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: retard, noun1: a holding back or slowing down: retardation 2 often offensive: a retarded person; also: a person held to resemble a retarded person in behaviour
Often offensive. Often?? How about always! I don’t think I’ve ever heard this word used as anything other than an insult, but let’s dig a little deeper into this term and take a look at the history.
From Online Etymology Dictionary: retard, verb: late 15th century, from French retarder (13th century), from Latin retardare. The noun is recorded from 1788 in the sense “retardation, delay”, from 1970 in offensive meaning “retarded person”, originally American English, with accent on the first syllable.
With the accent on the first syllable as in “REEEE-tard”. I remember kids yelling that at one another in school. I remember friends using it as a joke or to describe someone who was being silly or how they behaved when they were drunk. It was inappropriate then and it’s unacceptable now.