Quite some time ago a woman I’d met read me the riot act over my use of the “R” word. When talking about taboo words, one immediately hits the problem of whether to mention the forbidden word, and if so how and how often? A serious discussion can acknowledge the discomfort people have using a term, but usually must refer to it clearly at least once.
In this case the word was “retarded.” My use was descriptive, not pejorative, so I’m not entirely certain I was out-of-bounds. It seems like one of those fuzzy boundary zones where being respectful and polite gives way to being needlessly constrained by the overly sensitive.
But today I have a different ‘R’ word in mind.