Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't Use the Word "Retarded"

I'm a big fan of The Office and just read an excerpt from Mindy Kalig's ("Kelly") new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? 

I liked a lot of what I read but my favorite was this:
It is just so totally uncool to use the word retarded anymore to describe something you think is stupid. It is barely acceptable when uninformed small children say it (and reflects so poorly on parenting), and is completely offensive for adults. How inarticulate are you if you have to use this word? How confident are you that no one you talk to would be offended by it, or worse, have someone in his orher life that has a mental disability?
A pretty funny writer with a great spec script came into The Office to meet with producers about staffing. He was a friend of two other writers on staff. I thought he was cool initially, because he didn’t seem to take himself seriously and knew a lot about the Lakers. Then, in describing a Kobe Bryant/Shaq altercation, he used the word retarded,  and kept repeating it, the way I say like.  It was like a tiny knife stabbing me every time he used it. When our boss asked us what we thought of him, I said I liked him, but I thought his liberal use of the word retarded was embarrassing and off-putting. I don’t know how much it affected the outcome, but he didn’t get hired. 

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