Editor, The News:
Re: Why the ‘R’ word can hurt (The News, April 19).
Neil Corbett’s recent article about the Brack girls wanting to ban the word ‘retard’ got me to thinking that maybe they are leading the charge at the wrong target.
I believe the intended target is the ignorance of the individuals that have yet to mature.
First we must look beyond Wikipedia for the origin and usage of the word retard. Now that we have done that, we can see how valuable it really is.
I understand the girls have had hurt feelings, and sadly that is part of the human experience that we cannot and should not expect to eliminate.
However, that may be another debate. Hammers have been used many times to inflict more than hurt feelings, but we don’t ban hammers. Why? Because they are useful tools. A hammer is a combination of metal and wood that’s made to create a tool to help us build.
Like a hammer, words are just combinations of letters that give us useful tools to communicate. As you know, we learn from each other. So quality communication is essential to our ability to become mature and civilized.
Let’s not fear and hate groups of letters or any tools. Don’t fear any word, don’t banish them because someone misused it or abused it due of their own lack of development.
Take control of the words and use them to your advantage and the advantage of humanity. Banishing words to some purgatory will only retard our ability to communicate. And if our ability to communicate is diminished, how will we educate those that have yet to mature, how can we build a civilized society?