I absolutely cannot believe that we are in the year 2016 and I still hear the word "retarded" used in an offensive way in conversation. Being a college student, I hear people use some nasty language, but nothing angers me more than this word.

The thing about it is, there are so many alternative words to use. You want to impress your friends with your extensive knowledge of words? Then do not use this one. Do not use it because you never know who could be listening. I don't know about you, but I would feel absolutely terrible if I used this word, and the person I was talking to had a mentally handicapped child. But even if they didn't and they weren't offended, I could not imagine ever using this word.

If you are ever at a loss for words and are tempted to use this one, please don't. I will even provide you with some substitute words to use when you are in a bind. Here are some synonyms for this word:

crazy, ridiculous, illogical, pointless, uncool, irrational, absurd, trivial, idiotic, silly, senseless, careless, strange, dull, heartless, stupid, ignorant, dumb, ill-considerate, childish...

The list goes on.

The moral of the story is, please do not use this word. It is offensive, and the use of it is really not necessary. Whenever I hear it, I know that we still have a long way to go in this society.

Not only should you not use this word, but if you hear someone else say it, call them out. Let them know that you are offended by it or uncomfortable with them using it in an improper way. If they do not know they are being offensive than they cannot change their ways. I recently called someone out for using this word, and I was proud of myself for doing so.

I think that we can do our best to stop this word in 2016. There are many more words in our vocabulary to use, so let's use them.