Comment 76055

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted April 19, 2012 at 08:38:24 in reply to Comment 76029

The point is not to be politically correct.

Many commenters have pointed out that the original meaning of the word 'retarded' is still relevent, and so we should be able to use it. This assertion misses the point that if a word has multiple definitions, you can't necessarily separate it's different meanings. Generally when one reads a word that could have several different meanings, they figure it out by the context. However, when one of those meanings is very hurtful to someone because of the way that word has been used towards them, it is inappropriate to use that word - and since you don't know everyone's past, it is prudent to avoid that word. Sure you could use the word 'retarded' to mean 'slow', but why wouldn't you just use 'slow', since it carries the same meaning?

Here is an example: currently you can subscribe to podcasts and videocasts. Imagine holographic displays became real popular, and someone wanted to do a 'videocast' but using holograms. You could call it a 'holocast', using the word hologram and combining it with the idea of a podcast or videocast. You could defend your use of the word 'holocast' using the same arguments for defending the use of the word 'retarded', and you would be right in an etymological sense - but every time you ask someone if they want to subscribe to your 'holocast', they are going to think 'holocaust'. Even though they can understand your meaning from your context, they are still going to think about 'holocaust'. Your usage may be correct, but your communication is utterly flawed.

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