The Joys of the Word “'tard” (Updated February 2, 2009)
Considering the ongoing decline of the English language, especially here in the United States, I'm generally reluctant to consider any new colloquialism to be a healthy development. However, there is a new twist on an old word that has grown in popularity over the last few years that I have found to have all sorts of tasty applications in everyday speech. That word is the noun “'tard” which, as readers certainly must know, is an abbreviation of the word “retard.”
Before anyone waxes indignant over their sensibilities being assaulted, let me be clear that this word in no way strictly applies to its parent's traditional definition, which is that of a mentally impaired individual who has suffered pre-natal organic brain damage, thus permanently “retarding” their full mental development. No, the word “'tard” is applied in a general pejorative sense to identify a person who lacks any semblance of the innate common sense that the Almighty conferred upon them before or at birth, despite having been nurtured in an environment absolutely conducive to the development of normal mental faculties and sane behavior. Unlike the “retard” of the pre-PC English language, whose condition and behavior resulted from circumstances completely beyond his or her control, today's “'tard” is almost always a person whose imbecilic demeanor is entirely their own fault.
The task of context and definition complete, allow me to have some long overdue fun with this blog by introducing the reader to some of my favorite applications of this delightful word. The following list is by no means inclusive, and readers are certainly encouraged to post additions as they see fit.
- Accountard: A truly vile white-collar creature that pretends proficiency in matters financial, but that more often than not plunges the pitiful, hapless souls who (mis)place their trust in its abilities into fiscal chaos, even bankruptcy and/or foreclosure. This is especially true of Certified Public Accountards (CPa), nearly all of whom are sleazy, state-worshipping frauds who pretend to practice “tax law”, a pseudo-legal discipline with all the integrity of a soup sandwich. As a little proof of this hypothesis, try getting a CPa to give you a clear, concise answer, in the form of a precise figure, as to how much income tax you owe after giving said accountard all of your relevant financial and tax information. You'll quickly find out that you stand a greater chance of getting a clear and concise answer on the meaning of the universe from God Himself. CPas in particular are seldom ever capable of obtaining legitimate employment in the financial sector in jobs that actually add value to their clients' businesses. But why would anyone take that kind of risk when they can tell their hapless clients after they've been served with an IRS audit notice that “hey, tax law can change at a Congressional whim, so whaddaya want me to do? I can't read these people's minds, and besides, the law changed after I did your return.” If all else fails, acountards can always get jobs with the Illegal Ripoff Syndicate, which is always looking for shiftless losers with which to staff its fence operations
- Advertard: Applicable to a 'tard who either designs and produces or stars in advertisements in print, electronic, or broadcast media that are so absurd, inane, mendacious, or insulting as to make potential customers wonder whether the sponsor's objective is to drive itself out of business. The most egregious examples of advertards are the people who produce or appear in government-sponsored propaganda messages, paid for with your purloined tax dollars, that belittle, insult, and threaten the reader-viewer as if they were a miscreant toddler. I think I speak for everyone when I say that this class of advertards, along with their sponsors, deserve to be doused with multiple layers of napalm and set ablaze on the Capitol Mall, with worldwide television coverage of the event.
- Architard: A 'tard who designs buildings so hideous in appearance and so unstable in form or function as to make them uninhabitable and/or unsellable. Architards' works are most prominently displayed in the form of government or municipal buildings. or structures designed by non-profit organizations who beg obscene sums of money from the very people they despise, a fact represented by the structures in which they house themselves. I.M. Pei is, in this author's opinion, the epitome of an architard (his hideous structure in front of the Louvre in Paris is all the proof anyone needs), the praise bestowed upon his work by aesthetic ignoramuses notwithstanding.
- Barristard: My British readers are probably intimately familiar with this creature. As an appellation describing an incompetent practitioner of law, this is a term that ought to be gaining popularity on this side of the Atlantic, since the population of such creatures is more numerous here than anywhere else on the planet. Barristards are even more dangerous and insufferable than the shyster variety of attorney for the simple reason that while shysters might be lazy, sleazy, selfish, backstabbing reprobates with the consciences of sewer rats, at least some of them are generally competent practitioners of their trade. Barristards, on the other hand, couldn't win a case even if it was handed to them on a silver platter through judicial incompetence or summary judgment. That still doesn't stop them from retaining their law licenses and, if in private practice, financially gouging clients for services not rendered. Public defender offices in the United States are perhaps the biggest havens for barristards. Heaven help the poor innocent (and usually indigent) soul whose life depends on one for defense in a criminal trial.
- Bosstard: Described by a word easily generated by changing the initial vowel of and adding an extra “s” to the appropriate root word, bosstards are arguably the most dangerous class of 'tards in the United States today, if not the entire world. Bosstards are characterized by a toxic combination of cluelessness and unwarranted arrogance, often coupled with outrageous behavior that in a civilized society would get a person tarred and feathered. Bosstards are in control of the vast majority of businesses of any size and presence in America today, a fate in huge part explained by the nation's socialist economic and labor laws. Were the American economy a genuinely free one characterized by freedom of association and a genuinely free labor market, bosstards would not exist at all, or would at best be brief “flashes in the pan” before being unceremoniously dumped by their companies and thrown out into the street to beg change from passersby, as their fate would demand in a universe based on logical consequences. The pointy-haired boss in Scott Adams'Dilbert comic strip and now former president George W. Bush are both stereotypical examples of bosstards. However, I seriously doubt that readers need any examples at all. Anyone who does not work for a bosstard today is both a rarity and a person to be greatly envied.
- Carpentard: Though now largely rendered obsolete by shoddy mass-produced furniture and wood products, mostly imported from the Third World, the carpentard still exists occasionally within construction projects and in wood products factories that cannot fully automate due to the unique nature of their products. Fortunately, most industries relying on woodworking skills to create quality products have little use or tolerance for carpentards and quickly weed them out.
- Celebritard: The type of 'tard one sees or reads about when one decides to waste precious life minutes watching network TV or reading gossip magazines. No further explanation needed (think “Britney Spears” or “Paris Hilton”).
- Computer Scientard: A specialized type of scientard (q.v.), this is one with which I have daily and always agonizing interaction. Computer scientards are the direct result of the explosion in technological evolution over the last two decades. This historically unprecedented proliferation in technology has led to such a shortage of actual expertise in the field that businesses and households desperate for help –any kind of help, from anyone within shouting distance-- in assimilating and properly using these technologies have come to rely upon these awful beings, often with tragic and expensive results. Even though these creatures' actual knowledge of information technology could fit inside a leprechaun grandmother's sewing thimble with room to spare, they have managed, again largely with the help of a competition-stifling socialist government, to establish a foothold in the technology services market that cannot be dislodged by mere competence or establishment of meaningful professional standards based on actual performance. Dispensing technical advice, software applications, and maintenance services that are often worse than useless (indeed that are often harmful to their customers), these techno-morons have been responsible for such abominations as the U.S. Government's National Infrastructure Protection Center, Microsoft, and an endless but perfectly avoidable series of information system compromises, malicious code outbreaks, and data thefts that could have been avoided had they (not to put too fine a point on it) paid attention, used common sense, and known what the f*** they were doing. The good news is that computer scientards will eventually go the way of Atwater-Kent radios, Ford Edsel cars, and Betamax Video cassettes as the last generation of complete techno-illiterates dies out and the market stabilizes by demanding actual competence from technically specialized professionals. Unfortunately, given the current state of technical education in this country and the semi-literate hordes attempting to partake of it, it's likely to be a long, bumpy, and costly ride.
- Dentard; A relative of the doctard (q.v.), this 'tard delegates such mundane professional tasks as cleaning your teeth or putting in fillings, tasks which he/she is allegedly being paid to do, to a lowly hygienist who actually does all the work while receiving a pitiful fraction of the obscene amount of money that the dentard charges you. Dentards are famous for making such erudite statements as “you have to brush your teeth regularly in order to avoid having to see me so often”, apparently in the hope that you're one of the majority stupid enough not realize that tartar will build upon one's teeth regardless of the frequency of brushing, even if one were to consume nothing but water for months on end, or for asking such pivotal questions as “does this hurt?” as they stick a six-inch knitting needle into your unanesthetized gums. Like the doctard and accountard, the dentard exists mostly due to the socialized nature of the economy, particularly the “health care” field, and like the other professional 'tards listed in this post, would be out of practice, living in an abandoned cardboard box next to a gas station, and begging for fast food scraps if the economy were truly free.
- Detectard: The investigative backbone of every police force, this breed of 'tard is most notable for simply being able to find its way to work each morning and back home again each evening without getting itself lost, injured, or killed. Detectards have become notorious in recent years in police departments across the nation for their uncanny ability to “lose” evidence in criminal cases the successful prosecution of which would reveal their zoological incompetence at anything other than stuffing their faces full of donuts and abusing unarmed citizens. Detectards also seem to possess a miraculous inability to solve even the simplest of cases involving damage to citizen lives or property, but somehow evolve into literal Sherlock Holmeses when it comes to uncovering “evidence” against citizens involved in victimless “crimes” or who have attempted to defend themselves, their families, or properties against the detectard's statist employer. While other cops seem to place promotion to detectard at the pinnacle of professional success, citizens know that the detectard is merely the equivalent of the first grader in the nursery full of babies. While the first grader is more evolved than the babies, none is capable of doing anything useful. Unlike first graders or infants, however, both the detectard and his less-evolved beat cop colleagues are capable of doing terrible harm.
- Doctard: More dangerous by orders of magnitude than the barristard, the doctard is a product of the socialized medicine that has engulfed the planet's societies like a poisonous kudzu on steroids. Even more of a glorified guesser than the otherwise competent doctor whom he vaguely resembles, but with an infinitely less successful track record of correct guesses, the doctard is characterized by the robotic and proforma nature of the so-called “care” that he dispenses to those unfortunate enough to find themselves his patients. A doctard seldom ever actually listens to what his patients tell him in order to arrive at a diagnosis, much less an effective treatment plan. Instead he arms himself with a narrow template of symptoms and conditions that are considered the ailments du jour within the world of allopathic medicine on a given day and ascribes (bangs) the patient's symptom(s) (the square peg) (in)to the closest corresponding ailment(s) (the round hole) from the list. Although his actual knowledge of medicine, pharmacology, and human physiology are roughly on par with John Wayne's actual knowledge of or experience with modern battle doctrine, that doesn't stop the doctard from insouciantly playing with his patients' health and lives. If he's employed by the government, especially the military, he can enjoy full immunity from the possibility of a lawsuit and can practice happily ever after.
- Instructard: This catch-all term describes 'tards who allegedly engage in transmitting knowledge or skills to alleged “students.” It includes employees of both public and private institutions of lower and higher learning and those of for-profit institutions of specialized learning (e.g., ITT Technical Institute). Instructards are notorious for their transparent inability to even form a coherent thought or sentence, much less transmit useful knowledge to anyone on any subject of import. Indeed, public schools of grades Kindergarten through 12 are home to the preponderance of instructards, although they are increasingly infesting post-secondary institutions of higher learning as well. Instructards are another toxic by-product of the socialist state, 'tards who by their own admission consist of the sub-basement level of the intellectual pyramid, the dregs of academia who were too intellectually stunted to have majored in anything mentally challenging or useful while in college, instead by default flocking to the pseudo-academic field of “education.” Instructards also admit to being profoundly incapable of doing anything marketable in the private sector and thus guard their state-enforced employment privileges (a.k.a “tenure”) with a zealousness bordering on murderous. Fortunately instructards tend not to last very long in private-sector institutions of learning once students (a.k.a. paying customers) discover their utter and irremediable ineptitude and reward it by withholding their precious tuition money.
- Presidentard: This species of 'tard finds itself in charge of organizations, businesses, and, worst of all, sovereign nations despite the fact that it is clearly unqualified and unsuitable for the job and capable of doing incalculable damage to millions, if not billions of people if it is in charge of a sufficiently powerful entity and left to its own destructive devices to fully exercise its incompetence. American readers have just suffered through eight years of the most egregious presidentard this country has ever trusted with executive power and it's looking from all appearances as if we're about to suffer through at least four years of another one.
- Reportard: The destructive power of reportards is one of the most inexplicable phenomena of human existence. Glance at any magazine or newspaper, or turn on any radio or TV and tune in to a news station and one is instantly assaulted by a barrage of pedantic, quasi-literate, mendacious stupidity so nausea-inducing and so intellectually insulting as to provoke demented homicidal rage. This prompts the question as to why any sane, intelligent human being would pay so much as a microsecond's worth of attention to, let alone any of their hard-earned cash to purchase these 'tards' intellectual vomitus, or allow anything that they say or write to influence any aspect of one's daily life. The answer of course is that there is a noticeable dearth of “ sane, intelligent human beings” among the general population. Fortunately the age of the Internet is finally beginning to render these sickening statist shills utterly irrelevant and reward them with the fate that they deserve in any market-driven society populated by educated and discriminating consumers.
- Scientard: A growing blight on the face of human knowledge, these wretched creatures are responsible for more disinformation and impediment to human progress than any other breed of 'tard. While scientards come in many colors of non-expertise (see “computer scientard” above), they all have two things in common: 1) an unfathomable lack of intellectual curiosity about or in-depth knowledge of their ostensible fields of expertise, and 2) a callous and deliberate contempt and disregard for the truth when said truth kicks out from under them the assumptions and hypotheses upon which they've built their (usually unmerited) professional reputations. For evidence of the pernicious and still not fully inflicted damage that scientards have done to the planet, one need look no further than the twin frauds known to a gullible public as “global warming” and “planet green.” That these frauds have prevailed as the basis of social, economic, and political policymaking around the globe probably says more about the rest of us collectively than it does about these scientific charlatans. However, the fact remains that these creatures obstinately work overtime to obfuscate, deny, and stonewall the truth when it doesn't suit their or their benefactors' (usually the state) purposes. This above all else is what differentiates a scientard from a scientist, the latter of which is becoming an extinct creature. Something tells me that a possible reason for the extinction of such civilizations as the Anasazi and the Mayans is that they listened to the scientards of their day rather than the scientists.
- Secretard: This 'tard infects organizations in an administrative capacity. Its key characteristics are an inability to communicate clearly (or at all) with others, organize or prioritize tasks even if its or its boss's professional life depends upon it, and a supernatural ability to lose important pieces of correspondence or forget pivotal pieces of information at the worst of times. Secretards remain employed largely because their bosses are even more incompetent than they are (see “bosstard”) and lack the common sense to seek more efficient and effective alternatives. Fortunately, secretards usually only cause immediate tangible damage to bosstards.
Well, that's all I have for now. I hope you've enjoyed reading this cynical rant as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
How could I have forgotten to mention two types of 'tard now so publicly poised to do so much damage to the country in such a short time? These are of course the Senatard and Representatard.
- Senatard:This arrogant and elitist ignoramus is part of a body of one hundred of the most amoral criminals ever to convene under the guise of legitimate government. With its origins in the Republican Rome of some two-plus millenia ago, the Senatard is almost biologically insulated from the population of ordinary mortals that it purports to represent and whose interests it ostensibly serves. In reality, however, it is obvious to even a corpse that the Senatard serves solely to satisfy its own class needs and interests and that it concerns itself not one iota with the plebeian hordes. While this is certainly criminal in itself, the Senatard's toxicity to civilizational well-being is further compounded by its breathtaking ineptitude in matters of governance. This ignorance leads routinely to its wholehearted endorsement of laws that lead ultimately to its own undoing (think: TARP). The Senatard is also notorious for opening up and spewing forth verbal vomitus from its fetid cake hole prior to or without any intention of engaging what little rudiments of a cerebrum it possesses, thereby shattering its facade of cultured nobility. Current Vice Presidentard Joe Biden is perhaps the best example of a Senatard in the modern era. Other notable examples include Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Harry Reid, Trent Lott, and, well, etcetera.
- Representatard: An even lower form of life than the Senatard and concentrated in an even larger (and thus much more dangerous) body, the Representatard spends all of its time pandering to the masses that elect it to office while simultaneously exhibiting undisguised contempt toward same. Representatards, while claiming the moral mantle of “direct representative of the People”, are just as selfish as the Senatards and usually represent the same class of elitist control freaks from among the academic and industrial interests that wield the real power in Amerika. Examples of representatards include – every single sitting member of the House of Representatards and all alumni within recent memory. The sole exception is Representative Ron Paul of Texas, the only principled freedom lover in the entire bunch. How he survives each day in a sea of representatards is one of life's greatest mysteries.