ULABY: And it's not just movies rethinking retard as an easy laugh. A few months ago, popular sex advice columnist Dan Savage renounced his use of the word.
Mr. DAN SAVAGE (Sex Columnist): You know, I just sat down to write the column, and I'd used the word retard in a column recently, and I was sorting through the mail and there was a handful of letters taking me to task. And I thought, all right, I won't use it anymore. I'll use a new word. I hope you like this one better.
ULABY: The new word was leotard. As in, you are totally leotarded.
Mr. SAVAGE: It was just me being a jerk, frankly. You know, I've heard people now use "the R word" in reference to retard, and it just seems so pansy-assed, if I may use that phrase.
I'm also annoyed when I hear people say "the F word." I realize that everyone wants to feel equally oppressed these days, but "retard" and "faggot" simply aren't insults on a par with "nigger," A.K.A. "the N word." And I wouldn't say that I've renounced the use of the word retard, NPR, but rather embraced "tard" as a suffix and singled dancers out for abuse.