I just received a written reprimand for using the word “retarded” at work. I admit that I had been warned twice in the past for using the phrase “That is so retarded”, but it is a lifetime habit and the phrase just pops out sometimes. I have nothing against people with developmental disabilities and am not trying to make fun of anyone. It is just a word. Do you think it is fair for my politically correct supervisor to issue written discipline over something like this? We don’t have any disabled people working here so it is not like I am offending an actual person.
— Not Prejudiced Or Mean
Are you perhaps suggesting that your supervisor should just warn you forever even though the past warnings had no effect? I think it would have been more fair if your supervisor slapped you for not taking care of the rude verbal habit on your own before she had to reprimand you.
Buy a thesaurus. Use the thesaurus. You can find many ways to express criticism without resorting to “retarded”. That is, if you can read. You don’t seem too bright to me.
— Evil Skippy
Based on your way of thinking, it would be fine to use the N-word in the workplace so long as no one belongs to the race in question. That makes no sense, and neither does your defense. In fact, your defense is backward, birdbrained, defective, dim, dopey, moronic, sappy, simple, stupid, subnormal, underachieving and weak. (Want to borrow my thesaurus?)
One of the beauties about language is that it evolves over time. Many words and phrases come and go in terms of popularity or disdain. “Retarded” has evolved into a word that kind people do not use as a derisive adjective. You should try evolving so you can break your habit.
Keep in mind that just because no one working with you has Down syndrome, people may have loved ones with that condition (or may just have more empathy than you). In other words, you may already have offended or hurt someone. Be a grown up, take some responsibility and break the habit for your own good.