As in: Sucks to Your Assmar?

Interesting point:

Power and the ‘R’ word
Letter to the Editor
By Pete Reimers

It wasn’t long ago that saying something sucks would garner disapproving looks and perhaps a stern talking-to. Despite the fact that “sucks” refers to what many would consider a deviant sex act, it has become a common part of our vocabulary. It’s widespread usage in our vernacular has rendered the word largely inoffensive and powerless.

Etymologically, the word “retarded” is synonymous with “hindered,” “delayed” or “underdeveloped.” Thus, when people say, “Parietals are retarded,” they are, in effect, stating that the rationale behind said policy is underdeveloped. This is a perfectly legitimate usage of the word (and arguably an accurate assessment of the situation).

When a word becomes taboo, it only becomes more powerful. To remove the power of the word, one must remove its stigma. If we embrace the word and use it where it is etymologically appropriate, it will cease to offend, and its stigma will disappear. As such, I hereby pledge to step up my efforts to remove the power of the “R” word by using it as often as I can. Because why would we want to give a word we don’t like more power? That just strikes me as an underdeveloped line of reasoning. I’d even call it retarded.

Pete Reimers
Hesburgh Libraries
Mar. 3



Filed under Unkategorized

2 responses to “As in: Sucks to Your Assmar?

  1. Libby

    I love the word “retarded” because it has a certain phonetic bite to it – like “asinine” but low-rent. I think it’s best used as an over-the-top joking insult to people who are actually quite clever… The absurdity of calling an intelligent person “retarded” – which IMHO is a word that I until recently left behind in grade school – is hilarious! It’s kind of like if Frasier were to call Niles a “dumbass.”

  2. Kathryn Ciano

    Yes! This letter made me think of that scene in the Vagina Monologues about “taking back” a certain less-popular girlie word; there’s something to be said for *owning* words whose context have gotten out of hand, rather than avoiding them.

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