I hear people use that word all the time. Quite frankly it is quite sad that people have the nerve to call someone "retarded" in lieu of saying a less offending word in "stupid" or "dumb". They still aren't the best words to use, but it is still better than using the word "retard". If one uses that word, I would imply that they have mental retardation.
Retarded can be defined by Merriam-Webster as, "slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development : characterized by mental retardation."
On the other hand, stupid is defined as, "not sensible or logical; sometimes not able to think normally because you are drunk."
As you can see, there is a distinct difference between the definition of retarded and stupid. The word retarded talks about someone that is legitimately unable to help the fact the fact that they are unintellegant; whereas stupid talks about someone who is intentionally making bad choices. Even if the definitions were similar, the fact is mental retardation is a medical term. Referring to someone as "retarded" is always offensive because of what the word really means, and also how society views the word.
Words only have as much power as you give them. The word F**k means nothing bad in the dictionary, however society has made it an unsavory term.
The word "retard" doesn't mean anything wrong in the dictionary, however people use it to mean stupid. Calling someone stupid is considered wrong by society.
Calling someone with down syndrome retarded is only offensive because we made it that way.
Some people misuse the word by using it offensively, but it shouldnt be usedin such a manner. You can have an excuse to be mentally retarded, but you don't usually have one for being stupid. In my opinion, I think you are giving them excuse for calling them retarded instead of stupid.
Think walter white jr. If you call someone stupid 'retarded' in front of Heisenberg's son, you're gonna have to hope Heisenberg doesn't come and get you. My teacher once told me that the word retarded meant slow or used for people who walk slowly such as those in crutches. So using the word retarded as a synonym for stupid is offensive to people like the great Walter white jr.
In my school there are lots of mentally challenged kids. They are all really nice and friendly. They were in my art class one year and they still remember me and say hie to me and so on. No one should be made fun of especially for something they can't control. I used to say that word all the time to describe things I didn't like but now I know better.
Academically and especially in modern school, as a teacher I am not allowed producing “stupid” word. We believe that every student has a process in their live to achieve many goals. Directly we can see there are the differences between fast learner and slow learner on finishing and solving the problem given to them. Slow learner is not stupid. Sometime they have mental disability points to word “retarded”. I think.
People who are mentally retarded aren't stupid, that's the thing, they need more help and need to work harder than others. If you say this word instead of saying stupid and your using it as a synonym then your the stupid one. People have feelings. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Although having a slowed pace of learning (being intellectually retarded) and having a decreased ability to Learn (being stupid) may technically refer to nearly identical ideas, the stigma attached to the word retarded makes it harmful in most contexts. That is especially true considering the former condition of mental retardation.
Though "retarded" stems from mental retardation, it can also mean by itself "slow" and "behind in academic progress." It is even a musical term: "ritardando"
However, as a voter before me claimed, it is about the context. It's also that society views it as wrong. Remember all that trouble with Jennifer Anniston saying it?
Personally, I try to refrain from even saying stupid/dumb; I attempt to use more specific words such as illogical, unintelligant, or ignorant.
The proper term would be down syndrome. Calling such a person retarded would be cruel.
However, when someone is acting like a complete clown and has no such genetic affliction:
re·tard·ed [ri-tahr-did] Show IPA Usually Offensive.
Characterized by a slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc.
Slang. Stupid or foolish.
The term is clearly applicable. The inability of someone to correctly apply context is hardly reason not to use a word. The idea that a troll or similar person being dismissed as retarded is somehow offending every person with down syndrome is ridiculous.
People are going to continue to use the word, and we gain no points for righteousness by being overly PC censure cops who attempt to bar the legitimate use of word in the correct context.
"That's retarded." vs. "That person with down syndrome in retarded."
If we lack the ability to make such a delineation? Well, there is a reason Sarah Palin leapt on this one.
Both are ailments of the brain, they are identical in nature.
Retarded is just more commonly used for very extreme cases.
Children that are effectively retarded or "special" have no inner genius that is trapped by some disease, the disease and themselves are unfortunately one and the same. They are both stupid and retarded. Both mean a lacking of intelligence.
It's not wrong to use either word for either case, but in a society where we are allergic to anyone's feelings getting hurt and/or seeking ways in which to be offended for the unfortunate it has become commonplace to get angry when someone uses the word retarded as a synonym for stupid.
"Retarded" is just a name. It's like calling someone stupid. Yes it is not the correct term to use but people still use it and it is their right to say it. Hence, it is wrong only if the person that uses the word thinks it is wrong or not. Therefore this word is solely based upon the opinion of that person.
World english defines stupid (adjective) as
1. lacking in common sense, perception, or normal intelligence
and dictionary.Com defines retarded (adjective) as
1. Characterized by a slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc.
Looking at these two definitions, it is clear that they are in fact synonyms. The difference between 'retard' and 'retarded' is significant.
'Retard' as a noun directly refers to people with mental disabilities, therefore using it as an insult is directly offensive to those people. However, 'retarded' as an adjective does not necessarily refer to people with mental disabilities and it is in fact a synonym of the word stupid. It is neither semantically wrong nor morally wrong to use as a synonym because it does not have any inherent relation to retarded people.
It's just a word, and when people say it they are, most of the time, just joking around with each other. Depends on context, but most of the time it is not offensive. All of the people that I know don't find it offensive (or any word for that matter) but I think most people don't.