We all use words inappropriately, and I mean ALL
So I thought I would start this thread and try to post words—with their actual definitions—as an educational resource for any interested parties. Naturally, anyone may post their Word of the Day™ and, of course, belittle each other for using them wrong! Or right, for that matter.
Now, keep in mind that I am no grammar professor, and I have given up my day job as Internet Grammar Officer because it is too much work and exposed too many of my own english flaws. However, I do like to learn at least one new word per year, preferably one with at least three letters.
Anyway, here are the thread rules:
1) Word must be real, and composed of actual letters;
2) Word may be from any language, as long as it follows rule #1;
3) Word must be accompanied by it's definition (not yours) from a reasonably accurate dictionary
4) You may badmouth each other's words all you want. Just make sure to use your own words properly;
5) You may tell stories (or lies) about how the word is misused. This part should be fun;
6) Post why you think the word is misused, not necessarily why the establishment thinks so;
7) Please follow the "Word
: definition" format to make it easy to spot your word/definition.
Anywho…I'm bored, so here goes…
: less advanced in mental, physical, or social development than is usual for one's age.
People use this word to associate slight deviations from the norm with a mental and/or physical disability. Believe it or not, the word itself does not bother me, even though I had a child who was, by definition, retarded
, both mentally and physically. However, the word was used as an insult for so long that calling someone who is actually retarded
"retarded" is much like using that pesky "n"-word to describe a black person. It is true, given the exact definition of the word, but the word has evolved into an insult, rather than a strict descriptor. It is also used to associate stupid ideas and thinking with what they are, and sometimes quite humorously.
So, use it sparingly, and never to describe an actual "retarded" person.
**Edit: Unless otherwise noted, I will be using the Oxford dictionary built into my Mac. It is easy to use, and I am too lazy to dig through a hundred boxes in search of an actual book.