The age old saying still stands, ‘If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.’ As humans we have the power to choose the words we speak, so why do we choose to use words that hold scientific meaning as slurs?
Conversations sparked from the mention of the 6th annual “Spread the Word to End the Word“, a campaign led by the Special Olympics Organization, prompted Occupational Development Center (ODC, Inc.) employees, all with developmental disabilities, to form a list of words they deemed to be non-hurtful or derogatory.
In place of the phrases, “I’m so retarded” or “You’re a retard” ODC employees suggest using the follow words: pudding head, door knob, ding-a-ling, forgetful, klutz, ditz, slow poke, dumb bell, foggy brained, drama queen, goof ball, thoughtless, ding bat, or simply just saying ‘I had a brain fart.’
in place of the phrases, “I’m so retarded” or “You’re a retard” ODC employees suggest using the follow words: pudding head, door knob, ding-a-ling, forgetful, klutz, ditz, slow poke, dumb bell, foggy brained, drama queen, goofball, thoughtless, ding-bat, or simply just saying ‘I had a brain fart.’
Did you smile at yourself? Did you laugh at yourself? Do you feel ok with what you just said?
Now take a minute and think about how you feel when you use the ‘r-word’ to refer to your own forgetfulness or someone else’s misfortune.
Are you smiling? Did you feel a rush of happiness come over you? Our guess is, you didn’t.
“When “retard” and “retarded” are used as synonyms for “dumb” or “stupid” by people without disabilities, it only reinforces painful stereotypes of people with intellectual disabilities being less valued members of humanity,” stated the ‘Spread the Word to End the Words’ campaign site.
By using the ‘R-word’ to express your dislike or forgetfulness, you are allowing a negative attitude and ignorance to fester within our society.
Spread the Word to End the Word says it well, “Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.”
Don’t be a pudding head, think before you speak.