I hate giving that attenuated mantis of fuckwittage any ink.


We all know that A.C. called Obama a retard. And that this Special Olympian wrote a fabulous response. And maybe you also know that an awesome guy named Barnaby Chiong posted on Facebook last night:

we should start a thing. from now on, instead of saying “retard” or “stupid”, let’s say “coulter.” it could be the new santorum.

I like it!

My friend Ellen asked me to post a comment on her blog, wherein she talks about being the parent of a kid with special needs, and I tried, but Blogger — that coulter of blogging software — ate my words. So here’s a paraphrase:

I grew up saying retard. I have had to struggle to wean myself. I realize it takes effort to train oneself to find other words. But to the people who say the following three things that people who love to say retard always say, regular as clockwork:

1. You’re censoring me!

2. I don’t mean YOUR kid!

3. It’s such a great word!

I reply:

1. I do not think censorship means what you think it means. I do not own all the words. I do not have the power to stop you from choosing the words. I cannot come to your house with a giant needle and thread and I cannot put you in Word Jail. (Was that in The Phantom Tollbooth or something?) I’m asking you to choose differently because you are currently choosing to be a dick.

2. You do mean my kid. If not mine, then someone else’s. And you are choosing an insult for one person (in Coulter’s case, Obama) that slams an entire group of people who have not offended you, unless you mean their very existence offends you, in which case, again, you are a dick.

3. It’s a word that gives you an illicit thrill when you say it. I know. It feels puerile in a fun, naughty way. I get it. Other people get that selfsame thrill from saying “fag” or the n-word. But is it really a “great” word? I mean, it’s not a very original word if tons of people say it (as the response to the r-word campaign seems to indicate they do). Maybe you can come up with something more creative?

Here’s a thought: My 11-year-old is currently obsessed with Shakespearean insults. (Yeah, we’re nerds. Wanna call us a name? KNOCK YOURSELF OUT.) Feel free to choose your favorite and lob it at any coulter who pisses you off.

whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch

filthy bung

infinite and endless liar

scurvy companion





knotty-pated fool

huge bombard of sack

stuffed cloak-bag of guts


poisonous bunch-back’d toad

braggart vile

(I’m also fond of “Your virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.” I haven’t shared that one with the 11-year-old, though.)

As an illustration, I will now use some of Shakespeare’s words in a sentence or 10. “Hey, Ann Coulter, hag of all despite! Dissembling harlot! Thou art like a toad; ugly and venomous! Thou mis-shapen Dick! Thou art unfit for any place but hell; thine face is not worth sunburning; there’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune. I do desire we may be better strangers. Away! Thou’rt poison to my blood.”

See? Yes, it’s more work than “retard,” I grant you, but seriously, there are many slurs to choose from that won’t make you sound like such a fucking coulter.

[Update: Deleted the 100 Best Movie Insults clip for use of “retard.” Jeez. Thank you, alert commenter Elizabeth.]

ANYHOO, my point is that the English language is delightfully flexible and has many, many mean words you can put together in super-mean ways. LET A THOUSAND INSULTS THAT ARE NOT RETARD BLOOM. Otherwise, the coulters win.


  1. Rebecca Einstein Schorr October 24, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Oh how I adore this post. And not just because I have a kid who has been called the R-word more times than I would like to count.

  2. tanita October 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    YES! I do desire to be better strangers with coulters and other villainous lackwits. I ENJOY stretching the language into the most entertaining of insults, but the word “retard” – with which I also grew up – has gotta go.

    My brother is developmentally delayed – and we were told would never get beyond third grade. He started junior college last year. Slow just means we need our own pace, yes? So, here’s to walking our own path, and leaving the immature, name-calling coulters behind.

  3. marjorieingall October 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Amen, Tanita!

  4. Ellen S. October 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I’ll just come right out and say I love you more than ever for this. Brilliant. I got a bunch of coulters commenting/emailing/tweeting me today. Whoresons that they are. Off to post on Facebook.

  5. Jennifer October 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Awesome post! Thank you. As a Momma to a little lady with special needs, I detest the r-word. I really don’t understand why more people don’t ‘get it’ and just stop using the word.

  6. Debra F October 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Bravo!!! Wow, I have to say that is the best thing that I have read on this subject in a long long time!!! I think we all can agree that the coulters definitely do not need to win! Those flesh-mongers would not be a coulter if they had a child, brother, sister, etc. that was developmentally delayed. As a parent to a child with DD I applaud you my dear, you have done a fabulous job at shutting up these knotty-pated fools.

  7. Justin October 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I have written about this subject on my blog:http://justinmattes.blogspot.com/2012/10/we-arent-all-offended-equally.html

    As a recap basically I understand you have a massivee following Ellen and I applaud you along with other parents voicing your objections. However I fee l that in order to get the attention this needs, people with actaully disabilities need to take the lead. I sawe must equate the “R word” with the “N word”. I also feel by dragging Santorum into the fold, it belittles our objection to what Coulter did

  8. Elizabeth Aquino October 24, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I love this post, although I’d point out that several of the insults in the famous movies use “retard” — oops.

  9. Gina October 25, 2012 at 1:54 am

    I hope those filthy bungs read this.
    thank you

  10. April Galloway (@AMelodyGalloway) October 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Beautiful, I’m sharing it on Facebook as well. Hopefully, some of the people there will take a hint and expand their vocabulary….;-)

  11. Lisa Marie Mary October 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Awesomely wonderful and educational post! Love it! And I’m walking away with two new words in my pocket: puerile and fustilarian. And oh, how I adore “poisonous bunch-back’d toad” – omg, can’t stop laughing on that one! I just hope I’ll remember it at a lovely, opportune moment. Heehee!

    (I do however rather like preying mantis’, so I think I’ll picture something else up there next to that Coultery woman!) 😉

  12. Ellyn Kearney October 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Praise to thee, masterful wordsmith! A pox upon the turdly coulters of this earth! I’ve used a wheelchair all if my life and have been called a plethora of pitiful epithets – most of them incorrect. While I will confess to not always keeping up with what is politically correct terminology, as it changes so quickly, there is a mean-spiritedness behind Ann’s use of the R-word that does not belie ignorance. I recall an extremely uncomfortable exchange at a family dinner once when an older relative asked me: “Do the two colored fellows still own the antique shop in your building?” The term ‘colored’ in regard to African Americans was politically correct when this older man was in his heyday and he was in no way racist, just a country man who wasn’t aware of the preferred terminology. Another relative broke in before I could reply: “They don’t like to be called colored, they like to be called black!” Strangely, this correction, though accurate at the time – late 1980’s – dripped, not only of contempt for the older gent, but true disdain for the minority at issue. Once a third person jumped in with: “I’ll call them whatever I want!”, I realized I wouldn’t be staying for dessert! All that to illustrate the importance of context and intent.

  13. […] no angel. I like a juicy insult as much as the next person. I say (more than) my share of snarky […]

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