Choose Your Words Carefully

I have always had a colorful vocabulary.

I often recount fondly the tale of how I cursed this kid out in front of the whole class when I was but a wee tiny lad in second grade. My favorite part of the story is when my dad came up to the school to meet with my teacher afterwards and was left speechless by the following question:

“Do you have any idea where he could have learned language like that?”

If I could frame his face at that moment it would be sitting on the fireplace mantle today.

I DO NOT *dramatic pause* know where that little shit learned those words!"

“I DO NOT *dramatic pause* know where that little shit learned those words!”

The term “offensive language” has always been perplexing to me. Words have very little power without context. I mean don’t get me wrong, there are some words no one should ever use. Regardless of the situation, I cannot find any reason to condone the use of language such as “BAE”, “ON FLEEK”, or “IGGY AZALEA”. Free speech or no, have some self respect.



Other terms depend very much on how they are used. I will admit to you all that I still to this day use the word “retarded” on a pretty regular basis. Just the other day I was telling someone how retarded drivers in New Jersey are. I mean seriously, there are two lanes. Why would you wait behind me for five minutes while I wait to make a turn when there is NO TRAFFIC??

Some overly sensitive assholes may contend that any use of the word “retarded” is insulting to those who have mental or developmental handicaps?,disorders?, disabilities? stuff. I have never met someone who has a medical condition and said or even thought to myself, “look at this retard!” I have on many occasion said this to myself or out loud while watching any number of Republican debates throughout the years. Retards are not people who have trouble learning in school. Retards are people who think that we should force Mexico to pay for and build a wall to keep Mexican rapists and drug dealers in Mexico.

"That's insensitive, Dave."

“That’s insensitive, Dave.”

Furthermore, for all you people who still want to pass judgement, check out these STILL OFFICIAL definitions from

Definition of RETARDED:  slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress

Medical Definition of RETARDED:  slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development :  characterized by mental retardation


I think it is important to note here that I am not advocating the use of pejorative or discriminatory speech. Contrary to my earlier statement about my dad, I was raised right. I think I have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong and what’s right. You might not like that I curse sometimes , but when you really meet someone who uses offensive language it is a totally different experience than getting annoyed because someone used the word “balls” instead of testicles.

A few weeks back I met this guy named Robbie. Robbie has Down Syndrome and is the brother of an acquaintance of mine. After introducing me to Robbie said acquaintance told me the following:

“Robbie is an INVALID. He can’t really work or nothing so me and my brother gotta look after him all the time.”

He called him an INVALID! He said this to me directly in front of Robbie too. I was mortified.

In case some of you were not around for the middle ages, the term “invalid” (pronounced in-vuh-lid) used to be a common term used to refer to people who were disabled (mentally, physically or otherwise). There is no getting around how wrong that term is. How much more blunt can you be in saying certain groups of people are NOT VALID. Even the dictionary uses it to describe people who are too sick or infirmed to take care of themselves, but I would never even use “invalid” in that context. So what, when someone gets cancer and has to go into hospice they cease to be valid? Sick people get the same amount of respect as last month’s expired Windows password?