I've never been able to use the word in a derogatory way. I feel skeevy being around people who use it so lightly, so flippantly. I can recall using it once - and I felt so bad that I just couldn't do it again. Just last week at work I heard it and was like - Yeah, I don't like that word. The person who said it agreed that it shouldn't have been said, but....it was already out there. Why do we think that's ok?
For a long time, I used the word "renob" instead. Like "boner" but backwards - Boner Stabone, anyone? And now I can't use that because it sounds too much like I'm going to say "retard" instead. Ugh.
I know that a lot of people lately are all touchy-feely and think that we're raising overly sensitive kids. I agree on a lot of fronts with that, but I don't feel that this is one that is being overly sensitive. Why would it be ok?
T-Dogg came home from school one day last year and they had a session about replacing the "R Word" with Respect. And I looked at him and asked - would you have ever used it in a "bad" way? Because I don't want to set the example that it's ok to do so. And so I know, without a doubt, that he has never heard it from either his mom or his dad in the derogatory way. That fact makes me feel like we're doing a good job. Sure, he's 7 and can't tie his shoes yet, but he knows the difference between right and wrong. :)
You may now resume your regularly scheduled programming.