22 Jul 2006 Meanness is a Choice
According to this story in the Salt Lake Tribune, Kallie and Darren Galbraith of Nelphi, Utah are are — well, choose your own adjectives.
The Galbreaths posted a sign in their yard saying “CAUTION, RETARD’S IN AREA” — a sign that is targeted against a 13-year-old boy in the neighborhood.
The boy has autism.
The story does not note the irony that the Galbraiths’ incompetence in basic English grammar rendered them unaware that no apostrophe is necessary for the word “retard.”
Are the Galbraiths re-…? Nah, I won’t stoop to their level. People can’t help it if they are born with cognitive disabilities, and I have no evidence to prove another definite possibility: Both Galbraiths were simply too lazy to pay attention in school or to look up basic English grammar facts themselves.
So, the Galbraiths’ ignorance may not be their fault.
Meanness, however, is a choice.
Addendum: The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Galbraiths took down the sign.
Ironically, in doing so, the newspaper misused the apostrophe twice.
Addendum 2, 7/24/06: The Associated Press has an update with more details.