California Senate Bans the Word 'Retarded'

Comments (0)


Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM

click to enlarge Officially.
  • Officially.
A bill that just passed the California State Senate would rid our medical vocabulary of the "R-word" -- on the grounds that it is "offensive and outdated."

The State Senate, which is nothing if not retarded, approved the R-word ban unanimously this morning. For once, Democrats and Republicans could agree:

"Intellectually disabled" is a much prettier, more PC term for the diagnosis known up to this point as "mentally retarded."

Declareth the author, Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), in her press release:

"The use of the 'R-word' is profoundly hurtful to many people with intellectual disabilities and to their families. As others have become accustomed to casually using the 'R-word' as a joke or to demean someone, those words have shaped the perception and self-worth of people who suffer with intellectual disabilities."

Next thing you know, they'll ban the word "gay" because douchebags like to use it as a synonym for "lame." (No offense, of course, to the vagina-cleansers of the world.)

From the senate's analysis of SB 1381:

Existing law refers to "mental retardation" or "a mentally retarded person" in numerous state statutory provisions, including provisions relating to psychiatric technician regulation, the state's unfair competition statute, educational and social services, commitment to state facilities, and criminal punishment.

This bill:

1. Deletes references to mental retardation or a mentally retarded person and instead replaces them with "intellectual disability" or "a person with an intellectual disability."

Funny thing -- or not so funny, for retarded people -- is that now the casual, derogatory use of the word "retarded," which will forever be tied to mental disability, like it or not, has just taken on more legitimacy, as it will no longer be used in an official capacity.

Bullies and tween boys and crass bloggers of the world, rejoice: "Retarded" is now free to mean exactly what you always wanted it to mean!

Personally, this is a big day for us, because we happen to love the word retarded. You know, in a literary sense. Those three bold syllables, allowing the perfect drop of emphasis -- retarrrded -- to sound out the utter numbskullery to which we refer. It is the verbal equivalent of scratching an itch, or punching the target of our outrage in the face. Red-light camera tickets? ReTARDed. No trash can on this entire block? RETARDATION. The guy trying to merge in the last 100 feet before the off-ramp? Reeeeeetard.

This so calls for some South Park.

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

Related Content


Now Trending

  • Judging Neel Kashkari's Week of "Homelessness": 5 Reactions

    Running for office can be grueling, but it's usually not this bad. Neel Kashkari, the Republican contender to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown, spent a week living on the streets of Fresno to underscore his jobs message. Voluntary hardship is becoming a Kashkari trademark. Whether he's taking a beating on Capitol...
  • Woman Attacked, Injured by Knife-Wielding Man at UCLA

    It has been a rough week at UCLA. First 20 million gallons of drinking water flooded campus Tuesday, damaging Pauley Pavilion, athletic facilities and some offices. See also: UCLA Flooded by Tons of Water (PHOTOS) Now an unheard of nighttime attack has been reported on campus. A woman who attends UCLA...
  • U.S. Reps Call For Federal Intervention in Dodger TV Blackout

    A group of local U.S. representatives wants the Federal Communications Commission to help end Time Warner Cable's blackout of Dodger games for competing cable and satellite providers. Negotiations to bring the team's games to AT&T U-verse, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FIOS have gotten...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.