Hello -- my name is Clint Otis. I am a junior at the University of Louisville pursuing a degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Learning and Behavior Disorders.
As a future educator in special needs, I hear many terms used to address people with disabilities. Most people know the coined phrase "the R-word" -- speaking about the word "retarded." The slang usage of this word is degrading and needs to be stopped. Granted, it has been used in past laws to address people with disabilities, but that is exactly where it should stay -- in the past.
Using this word to describe outrageous happenings is quite inappropriate. Other ways to describe these types of events are included in a thesaurus. It is unfair to the community of people with disabilities to help spread this trend forward, which is exactly what happens when someone shouts it out.
Let’s stop and think before we use the word. Is it really an appropriate description of a person or an event? The answer to this and all similar questions should be no. End the word.