Context is everything; it's not a word that is obscene, it's the intent behind it. I think it would have been different if Joe had said "whoever came up with that idea is a retard". Nevertheless, it gets some people worked up. I know a guy named David who gets worked up when someone calls him "Dave".
Unfortunately, words are the trigger. Lenny Bruce used to do a bit about the "N word", and Lenny was far from racist.
"Gay" in a dictionary sense refers (in addition to "being happy," of course) to homosexuality. That's why gay people/homosexuals refer to themselves as "gay." It's not an insult, to them or by the literal meaning. It's an insult when it's used to describe something bad; e.g., it's common for young folks to say, "That's so gay," not meaning something homosexual, but something they think is dumb/they don't like.
Reading comprehension ...
Oddly enough my wife's best friend has 2 autistic children. I just asked her if she would be offended by what Joe said and he response was "NO".
It is all about context. To me the idea IS retarded. It is also moronic, stupid, asinine, dumb and any other word you can find that means the same thing.
Merriam Webster defines retard as.............
Definition of RETARD
: to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment : impede
: to delay academic progress by failure to promote
: to undergo retardation
— re·tard·er noun
See retard defined for English-language learners »
See retard defined for kids »
Examples of RETARD
The chemical will retard the spread of fire.
The problems have retarded the progress of the program.
Definition of RETARD
: a holding back or slowing down : retardation
often offensive : a retarded person; also : a person held to resemble a retarded person in behavior
It does not have to be offensive when used in the proper context. Do we not have fire RETARDant?
When did America turn into a bunch of pussies? You people need to get thicker skin and not give a damn about what people say unless it is directed at you.
Joe is still young, but should know better. I think he recognized that the second it came out of his mouth.
There's alot "soap box" gum bumping coming from this crew. Everyday it's something.
I love how everyone is using "dis-abled" as the word to replace retarded. Dis-abled implies they cannot do it at all, whereas the root of the word retarded implies they are slower to do it. The current correct PC word is "less-abled." Get with the times...