5 responses to “Ableist Word Profile: Moron”

  1. Kaitlyn

    I like these posts about intelligence – instead of calling somebody “stupid” or an “idiot” – I prefer, “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”* Because that is the issue, nah?

    The person doesn’t have the information, or is not recalling it “correctly”.

    *But that uses “know” – so maybe, “I don’t think you have all the information.”, “I see it differently because of…” or (as with my sister) “What the expletive are you talking about?”

    And I can’t help it, I gotta say it, What a [redacted per comments policy]. (Oh man, no carrots.) (I have a serious case of the sillies today.)

  2. Cat

    This has been a troubling issue to me ever since I became aware of this community, and also in reference to my own personal experience—I’m an Aspie who was diagnosed this past March, and realizing that I’m out of the norm when it comes to mental configuration has made me far more sensitive to words that could be construed as offensive. The thing is, I’m also a linguistic major (read: massive word nerd) who finds it very hard to start phasing out words from her vocabulary! So I’ve been wondering for days about what a good and non-offensive insult could be to be leveled at those who deserve it—you see, I’d never insult anyone with a developmental disability, the people whom I’ve called some of the words you’ve mentioned about are by and large the willfully ignorant and deliberately closed-minded, who never fail to drive me up a wall. The best I could come up with was “asinine”—I don’t think any donkeys would object!

  3. A.W.

    I find, Cat, that the more detailed a description is in particulars the better it gets across. Calling someone willfully ignorant and deliberately close-minded works just fine (and to me, is more emotionally satisfying than staying with the shorter words like asinine. Since you also like words working for a more detailed description would probably help with the phasing out, instead of just trying to replace the problem words.

  4. Cat

    That’s a very good point, A.W.. (Oh dear, I never know whether to put that extra period—how on earth do I signify the end of a sentence without making it look like an ellipsis?) Normally I do go into greater detail, and the fact that I felt the need to have a more “stinging” insult is kind of a sad commentary on society that people often feel the need for such things in order to feel that their point has gotten across…*exasperated sigh*

    May I recommend “special” for the next Ableist Word Profile? A dear NT friend of mine is a major ally of mine and of AS issues in general, yet she still uses it as an insult, which drives me up the wall. Also, this isn’t strictly an Ableist Word Profile issue, but it would be excellent if FWD/Forward could at some point do an article about the evils of able-bodied/minded people feeling the need to “go easy” on disabled people of any stripe in criticism/competition/whatever since the “normal” people assume that the disabled could in no way, shape or form be their equal in anything—I HATE THAT and I assume many, many other people, disabled or not, feel that way as well.

  5. Sweet Machine

    This one is always sobering for me, as my brother would have been officially diagnosed as a “moron” had he been born a few decades earlier.

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