I don't really think that the English language (or any for that matter) should be attributed any strong meaning because, at the end of the day, they are only words. This may be a surprise statement coming from someone who enjoys writing but it is how I feel when I hear people speaking. For example, I don’t really pay attention to lyrics. Hats off to songwriters because it is an immensely difficult craft (I have been trying my hand lately) but I tend to judge a track on whether it has a good beat. People might argue that would explain my music taste because some of the songs I listen to have awful lyrics.
Anyway, my point is that words are not inherently good or bad. It’s just how they are interpreted and perceived. Personally, I don’t find the ‘C’ word that foul (watching football might have something to do with that) compared to other people whose reactions bemuse me. Words are merely sounds so shouldn’t hurt if they’re not taken as insulting. ‘Retard’ or ‘Spastic’ are seen as derogatory terms that have the potential to upset disabled people. However, I don’t take them as abusive language everytime I hear them because the words do not carry any strong meaning.
A lot of people (normally able-bodied) get upset on behalf of the disabled community (sounds like a special place) regarding the use of them words but why? I would rather humanity is less ignorant in life rather than focusing on a single word. If anything, speaking out against the way society speaks about disabled people is quite patronising. ‘Spastics’ wouldn’t just sit around like ‘Retards’ if we were upset. It also shows that people do not understand the problems in society. Simple words are not the problem; it’s the way disabled people are treated that needs to be changed. But you have all gathered that from reading my various rants.
Bye for now!