Special Olympics' preferred euphemism for retard or retarded.
Alternative insults such as special or mental have become synonymous with the forbidden words. Ironically, some trace the etymology of "special" to Special Olympics. Also, some trace the etymology of "mental" to mentally retarded. The campaign to erase "retard" has only shifted the same meaning to new insults.
Special Olympics is right. The n-word has completely displaced the original word in civil society. Perhaps the r-word will completely displace its original word. Transitions from very damaging slurs to euphemisms are often necessary. However, Special Olympics is a bit naive if they think that erasing one slur will cancel out synonyms. Perhaps the campaign should also focus on the less obvious but similarly offensive alternatives.
College Student 1: Hey, did you hear about Special Olympics? They're starting a campaign to end the use of "retard" by using the "r-word".
College Student 2: Man, that's so mental.
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