Ms. Coulter is quite correct in being critical of the language police who sometimes have gone overboard in monitoring what people say.
A Christmas tree is referred now to being a holiday tree. Rather than retailers saying "Merry Christmas," they say, "Happy Holidays." Illegal immigrants are called undocumented workers. Straight, rather heterosexual people really don’t know if a person who is homosexual should be called gay or lesbian. Of course the words queer and faggot are never used unless you are homosexual and choose to use the slang in friendly bantering with your gay friend.
There is probable universal agreement among non-racist whites that the word “nigger” is unacceptable and has only hate filled connotations. For some, you never write or speak of the word and call the offensive term the “n” word. However, for some Negroes rather African American rather blacks, they can use the word if bantering amongst themselves or as an expression used in rap music.
Is a person a liberal or a progressive? Some of the most progressive thinkers I know are conservative and would be preferred not to be called right wing by their left wing opponents.
I may announce that I am pissed off---yet my mother does not like the saying. There is absolutely no reason that I would use the f-bombshell in front of my mother, however, the “f” word has been replaced with “fricken,” which means "f " which never really meant intercourse when used in anger. (How interesting that the word "screwed" a version of "f" is still used quite freely amongst the public.)
And the list continues how Americans have adopted or totally dropped sayings to not be offensive to the general population or specific groups of people.
However, calling a person “retarded” is perhaps a bit insensitive to those men and women who have the disability of mental retardation.
And though Ms. Coulter said she is not condescending to those folks who have Downs Syndrome, (and at one time the acceptable word was Mongoloid) there are other forms of genetics or physical injuries or disease which could cause mental retardation as strokes, head injuries, meningitis.
Perhaps what is offensive about calling a person "a retard" is that the term is meant to be condescending and those who have the disability of mental retardation and their family members know the term is offensive and really has no playful meaning. The word describes a life altering disability but is being used as a mocking term of a person’s decision making skills or actions and not necessarily his intellect.
Should Anne Coulter apologize?
Well at this time she chooses not to---yet hopefully she becomes more sensitive to the word’s use, which is offensive to a whole group of American citizens. At the very least with her educational background there are better words to describe poor decision making. Continuing the use of the phrase just makes her sound