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Sarah Palin is back in the news.  Not just Fox News either, we’re talking real news here.  She’s up in arms over Rahm Emanuel’s recent use of the word ‘retarded’.   Palin asked on her Facebook page, “Are you capable of decency, Rahm Emanuel?”  Rumor has it she is still sitting around waiting for his reply.  Speculation continues to circle as to why Palin is so upset.  Many suggest it is because she has a toddler with Down’s syndrome and she may find Emanuel’s comment offensive as ‘retarded’ is often used to stigmatize those with mental limitations.  Others wonder if she is not truly upset about the original meaning and usage of the word as cited here from http://www.dictionary.com:

re⋅tard

[ri-tahrd, for 1–3]

–verb (used with object)

1. to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.

–verb (used without object)

2. to be delayed.

–noun

3. a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.

Perhaps she would find any of these personally offensive, especially definition numbers 1&3, as used in the following sentence examples:

1.  Sarah Palin retarded John McCain’s campaign machine with her ineptitude and general smarminess.

2.  Sarah Palin felt her meteoric ascendance to national infamy had irrevocably retarded her ability to govern the state of Alaska, so she quit.

3.  Fox News retards the progress of journalism each and every day, and now Sarah Palin has joined forces to help retard it even further.

4.  Fox News retards the thinking processes of countless Americans each and every day, and now Sarah Palin has joined forces to help retard them even further.

There is a growing campaign to do away with the derogatory use of the “R-word” – truly a worthwhile movement, long overdue.   Visit http://www.r-word.org and sign a pledge to not misuse the word.  However, it is a perfectly good word to use in the correct context, as in the examples above.  So put an end to the misuse of this word and bring back its proper usage.

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