Today, March 6, is the annual day of awareness to end use of the R-word. It is pretty common among young people to use hurtful words, not always using them for their original meaning, but unthinking speech, even is just lazy and not meanly-intended, can be harmful.
“Retarded” isn’t really a word we need to hear a lot, but it gets used so casually. It is offensive and derogatory. This isn’t about being politically correct, or political at all. It is about respect, for everyone. We can get super creative if we want to make jokes with our friends or even be self-deprecating, without demeaning ourselves by resorting to hate speech. Today is the day to take a pledge not to use the word: Spread the Word to End the Word. If you do intend to appropriately speak of someone who was formerly labeled as mentally retarded (once upon a time a clinical term, now offensive slang), that phrase has been replaced, officially replaced in medicine and law and government and education, with “intellectual disability.”
Be precise. Respect yourself enough to understand and get with the times. Take the pledge ad end the word.