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mentally retarded person and mentally challenged person

English translation: political correctness

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:mentally retarded person and mentally challenged person
English translation:political correctness
Entered by: chopra_2002
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

15:13 Nov 5, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: mentally retarded person and mentally challenged person
I need to know the meaning and concept of a *mentally retarded person* and a *mentally challenged person*. These terms sound similar but I feel there is some sort of a subtle difference between these.

I'll be thankful if you could explain both of these terms so that I may substitute the suitable words for the same.

Thanks in anticipation.
chopra_2002
India
Local time: 20:20
political correctness
Explanation:
It's all about political correctness. You don't want to offend someone by calling them "retarded", so you use "challenged".

You can take it to extremes and call short people "vertically challenged"!!!

HTH

ALison

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Note added at 2 mins (2003-11-05 15:15:26 GMT)
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i.e. they mean the same thing

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 mins (2003-11-05 15:20:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Check out, in particular, the third section below:

\"What Is Political Correctness?
Political Correctness (PC) is the communal tyranny that erupted in the 1980s. It was a spontaneous declaration that particular ideas, expressions and behaviour, which were then legal, should be forbidden by law, and people who transgressed should be punished. It started with a few voices but grew in popularity until it became unwritten and written law within the community. With those who were publicly declared as being not politically correct becoming the object of persecution by the mob, if not prosecution by the state.

The Odious Nature Of Political Correctness
To attempt to point out the odious nature of Political Correctness is to restate the crucial importance of plain speaking, freedom of choice and freedom of speech; these are the communities safe-guards against the imposition of tyranny, indeed their absence is tyranny ( see \"On Liberty\", Chapter II, by J.S. Mill). Which is why any such restrictions on expression such as those invoked by the laws of libel, slander and public decency, are grave matters to be decided by common law methodology; not by the dictates of the mob.

Clear Inspiration For Political Correctness
The declared rational of this tyranny is to prevent people being offended; to compel everyone to avoid using words or behaviour that may upset homosexuals, women, none-whites, the crippled, the mentally impaired, the fat or the ugly. This reveals not only its absurdity but its inspiration. The set of values that are detested are those held by the previous generation (those who fought the Second World War ), which is why the terms niggers, coons, dagos, wogs, poofs, spastics and sheilas, have become heresy, for, in an act of infantile rebellion, their subject have become revered by the new generation. Political Correctness is merely the resentment of spoilt children directed against their parent\'s values. \"

http://www.users.bigpond.com/smartboard/pc.htm
Selected response from:

Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 16:50
Grading comment
Thanks a lot for your marvellous answer! I am also indebted to John as well.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +12see commentJohn Bowden
4 +8political correctness
Alison Schwitzgebel
5 +2Further commentRefugio
5Mental retardation is a mental challenge/dissability not vice versa.nyamuk
5For the glossary…J. Leo


  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +12
see comment


Explanation:
"Retarded" is felt, certainlymin British English, to be vey pejorative - "retard" is a playground insult similar to "Mongol", "Spaz" etc which are still occasionally heard, but would never be used elsewhere. As Alison says, "challenged" has become a way of mocking political correctness when it's felt to have gone too far: "follically challenged" = bald etc.

In the UK education system, the terms used are "Special Needs" and "Learning Difficulties" - so I would use "someone with special need" or "someone with learning difficulties" as not too specific terms.

John Bowden
Local time: 15:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 140

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  RHELLER: good points. mentally-challenged could be used as an ironic put-down if someone thinks they are superior. spaz is used in UK too? horrible children-
2 mins

agree  Sonia Hill
5 mins

agree  jerrie: Learning Difficulties is a great alternative. I always think of 'retarded' as to be linked specifically to 'slowness', 'low mental age', whereas challenged to apply to absolutely anything!
10 mins

agree  Armorel Young: yes, mentally retarded as a descriptive term is completely out of date and no longer usable in any serious context
19 mins

agree  esma: it is not commonly used anymore.
21 mins

agree  Maria-Jose Pastor: In the US we use "Special Needs" and "Learning Disabilities"
21 mins

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
28 mins

agree  J. Leo: Challenge is used to shift the emphasis from 'limited possibility' to 'progress', which is based on an individual's potential, regardless of pace or limitations.
41 mins

agree  NancyLynn
1 hr
  -> Thanks everybody!

agree  Catherine Norton
6 hrs

agree  nyamuk
7 hrs

agree  senin
10 hrs
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1 min   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +8
political correctness


Explanation:
It's all about political correctness. You don't want to offend someone by calling them "retarded", so you use "challenged".

You can take it to extremes and call short people "vertically challenged"!!!

HTH

ALison

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 mins (2003-11-05 15:15:26 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

i.e. they mean the same thing

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 mins (2003-11-05 15:20:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Check out, in particular, the third section below:

\"What Is Political Correctness?
Political Correctness (PC) is the communal tyranny that erupted in the 1980s. It was a spontaneous declaration that particular ideas, expressions and behaviour, which were then legal, should be forbidden by law, and people who transgressed should be punished. It started with a few voices but grew in popularity until it became unwritten and written law within the community. With those who were publicly declared as being not politically correct becoming the object of persecution by the mob, if not prosecution by the state.

The Odious Nature Of Political Correctness
To attempt to point out the odious nature of Political Correctness is to restate the crucial importance of plain speaking, freedom of choice and freedom of speech; these are the communities safe-guards against the imposition of tyranny, indeed their absence is tyranny ( see \"On Liberty\", Chapter II, by J.S. Mill). Which is why any such restrictions on expression such as those invoked by the laws of libel, slander and public decency, are grave matters to be decided by common law methodology; not by the dictates of the mob.

Clear Inspiration For Political Correctness
The declared rational of this tyranny is to prevent people being offended; to compel everyone to avoid using words or behaviour that may upset homosexuals, women, none-whites, the crippled, the mentally impaired, the fat or the ugly. This reveals not only its absurdity but its inspiration. The set of values that are detested are those held by the previous generation (those who fought the Second World War ), which is why the terms niggers, coons, dagos, wogs, poofs, spastics and sheilas, have become heresy, for, in an act of infantile rebellion, their subject have become revered by the new generation. Political Correctness is merely the resentment of spoilt children directed against their parent\'s values. \"

http://www.users.bigpond.com/smartboard/pc.htm

Alison Schwitzgebel
France
Local time: 16:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 92
Grading comment
Thanks a lot for your marvellous answer! I am also indebted to John as well.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kpy
1 min

agree  Wenke Geddert
1 min

agree  ntext: and thanks for helping the semantically challenged :)
3 mins

agree  Gayle Wallimann
5 mins

agree  RHELLER: exactly - mentally challenged is the newer version
6 mins

agree  Sonia Hill
10 mins

agree  J. Leo: PC is the reason. Intellectually or cognitively challenged also. ‘Cognitively challenged’ is a more clinical term, which may apply to ‘intellectually challenged’. I once had to define ‘Int. chal.’ to Irish psychologists; it’s not a common term there.
38 mins

agree  NancyLynn
1 hr

disagree  nyamuk: The terminology has changed to more accurately describe a broader range of conditions. Losing mental ability as the result of an accident can be a disability or challenge but doesn't necessitate the classification 'retarded'
3 hrs

agree  Catherine Norton
6 hrs

neutral  Refugio: In the reference you cite, they apparently threw the baby (correct spelling and grammar) out with the bathwater (political correctness).
1 day1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
For the glossary…


Explanation:
The diagnostic clinical term is ‘Mental Retardation’

Psychiatry’s ‘Bible’ is called DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision). The first diagnosis under the category “Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence” is Mental Retardation.

It is diagnosed based on:
(1) An IQ of 70 or less and (2) the person’s effectiveness in meeting standards expected for his or her age or cultural group in at least two of the following areas: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety.

There are 5 degrees of severity used to estimate the level of intellectual impairment.

Mild Mental Retardation :IQ level 50-55 to ±70
Moderate Mental Retardation :IQ level 35-40 to 50-55
Severe Mental Retardation :IQ level 20-25 to 35-40
Profound Mental Retardation :IQ level below 25 or 20
Mental Retardation, Severity Unspecified







J. Leo
Local time: 16:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 51
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Further comment


Explanation:
The term "challenged" originally had less to do with a desire to avoid offending people (although that is a useful byproduct) and more to do with a shift in perspective. The word "retarded" is a negative and cast-in-concrete description which implies an external locus of control and thus that the person so described has no options, no possibility of improving and effectively speaking, no future. "Mentally challenged", on the other hand, describes a person who will have to try harder than others, but places no prejudicial limits on capacity and restores an internal locus of control. Political correctness is not a worthy goal for changing language, but the restoration of hope and dignity to those from whom they have traditionally been withheld is indeed a worthy goal. Think for yourselves, people!

Refugio
Local time: 07:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 485

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  ntext: I agree that challenged is more positive and empathic. On the other hand, retardation does not equate (or semantically mean) unchangeability. It simply means a person is at an earlier stage of development, compared to her/his age and/or cultural peers.
17 mins
  -> However, most labels that are numerically arrived at (as in using IQ scores to define retardation), once applied tend to stick, without further evaluation.

agree  nyamuk: well put
1 hr
  -> Thank you, nyamuk
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Mental retardation is a mental challenge/dissability not vice versa.


Explanation:
One could argue that terminology is constantly changed to satisfy political motivations, however you would miss the more important reasons to change terminology, to make it more precise. Mental Challange or Mental Disability are terms that encompass a broad range of mental disorders, while Mental Retardation is a clinical definition that refers to disorders of mental development or mental capacity. In short they aren't really the same, so it is more accurate to describe all disorders as challenges and or dissabilities, but inaccurate to describe all disorders as retardation.

nyamuk
United States
Local time: 08:50
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 58
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