So when I was in high school, I went through this big "retarded" phase. It was my word for everything. That's retarded. You're retarded. I'm retarded. You get it. At a certain point, I decided that this could be offensive to some people, and I really needed to stop saying it. Specifically, there was a girl in my class who had a brother with Down's Syndrome, and I heard that she was offended by the use of the word retarded like that.
So while I was really actively trying to weed the expression out of my vocabulary, this classmate offered me a ride downtown after school since both of us were headed that way. I accepted, and my inner dialog went like this: Don't say retarded. Don't say retarded.
Then I realized that she wasn't driving; her dad was driving, and her brother was in the car. Then my inner dialog went like this: Don'tsayretarded.Don'tsayretarded.Don'tsayretarded.
As we approached the car, a girl passed by us and my classmate said, "I think she's really pretty."
Not knowing if she was being serious or not, I asked, "Are you being retarded?"
Then there was this really long, awkward pause because 1) I had just said retarded and 2) it didn't even make sense in context of our conversation.
And it seemed like forever before I was able to say,
". . . I mean . . . sarcastic?"
She said no, and then pretty much the whole rest of the ride downtown was awkward.
(Uh... The End. For some reason I was thinking about that story again today. There's no real point to it except that sometimes what we're thinking comes out of our mouths just because we're trying hard not to say it.)