For all the publicity this word has received...I have very mixed feelings.
I've seen this used negatively, after all I grew up in the '80's and '90's. It was thrown out as a name calling equivalent to "double dog dares". It was mean spirited and was not nice. It should have not been used this way...but the ugly names have, in general, escalated such a way that I think it has really lost some of the original Umph.
It was used in the Jack Black movie "Tropic Thunder" and Jennifer Aniston threw it out there a few weeks back. I've not seen Tropic Thunder, but talked to a couple of friends who had. And I looked up the Jennifer Aniston incident. I saw both of these incidents as poor taste but not more than that...they were not being virulent to someone, they were reverting to their 80's/90's teenage selves.
There are movements out there trying to take this word out of circulation, and make this word and its derivatives hate speech, etc. The one I linked up, I like best because it is addressing the public as individuals, asking them to make the right choice...rather than regulating it legally.
The Media tore both Jack Black and Jennifer Aniston a new one over their careless uses. Yet, on the other side of Media's mouth, this ugliness happened. And I never saw a word. Not a single word until a friend posted it's (sorta, somewhat) resolution up on Facebook.
For all the public hue and cry, it's funny to me that it is still a legal definition that if your child's measureable IQ falls within a certain range, that will be your child's legal educational label in certain states.
As far as my own experience, I found comfort in it. Oh, hush, your horrified intake of breath! I heard you!! Even it's public definition is comforting to me, and I'll tell you why.
In the throws of those first few weeks, I remembered it's dictionary definition. "To be delayed." I was so relieved to hear it. So, whatever my kid had, she would be able to achieve anything. It would probably just take a while longer than everybody else. It helped tame my fears. There was a hope. Something to hold onto in the dark abyss of fear. Ironically, I found it in the very definition that was tearing apart my life...
So, if you were looking for answers this particular post is not gonna give you any. Because I am still thinking this one over...but I thought I'd poke your brains to think more about it than what the Media and various Spokespeople say...because it really is more than the knee-jerk...especially to me.