Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Scale Of Stupidity

The word "stupid" gets thrown around easily, but "stupid" is a bit broad, and throughout the ages there have been some choice words to peg degrees of stupidity. The best words come from the field of science concerning severe mental retardation and even group think. Yes, I know that everyone already knows the following words, but they were, at one point, scientific, and my goal is to bring those meanings back.


IQ: 0-25

A GREAT word which has lost practically all of its punch due to over-use. This scientific word was used to refer to someone with the mental age of two years or less, and who needed pretty much round-the-clock care. The replacement word is "profound mental retardation," which admittedly has an impressive ring to it.

Best if saved for: People who do things that are so incredibly stupid that no person over two would do them, such as sticking paper clips in electrical sockets or eating at Carl's Jr.


IQ: 26-50

Less stupid than an idiot, but not quite as bright as a moron, an imbecile is the more mediocre breed of dumb-ass. Yes, an imbecile is still quite stupid, but there is some sign of potential that may make life more bearable for those who take care of him. Some have achieved a degree of success, and famous examples include Paris Hilton, David Arquette, and Jim Breuer.

Best if saved for: Drunks, mid-drifts, mooks, and those who philosophize about smoking pot.


IQ: 51-70

The smartest dumb people you can meet. The word comes from the Greek "moros," or "dull." The mental age for these loveable chaps is between 8 and 12, and they are much easier to deal with than those less fortunate. In the UK they were legally known as "feeble-minded," an expression which still has some bite if you choose to use it. These people are now considered mildly retarded, and spotting them is a bit trickier than you'd expect. The revelation usually occurs after a couple minutes of conversation, and getting away from these folks may be a wee bit more difficult than expected.

Best if saved for: Political friends.


The oldest term for a person with "developmental disabilities" is cretin. The best part about this word? It comes from an old French word meaning "Christian." According to Wikipedia, "The implication was that people with significant intellectual or developmental disabilities were 'still human' (or 'still Christian') and deserved to be treated with basic human dignity." The word was later expanded into "Cretinism," which was the term used for congenital hypothyroidism. I would post an image so you'd get an idea of what I'm talking about, but that's pretty fucked up, even for me.

Best if saved for: Lumpy people with open mouths and lost expressions.


A deliciously racist expression, this one came from John Langdon Down's classic book Observations on the Ethnic Classification of Idiots (1866). We know now that idiots come in all colors, but back in the day Down suspected that those who had a certain form of retardation looked suspiciously like our friends to the east. Those who had what became known as Down syndrome sometimes had epicanthic (Asian) eye folds, which led Down to the conclusion that these poor folks were an evolutionary degeneration from the Caucasoid ideal. In retaliation for this screamingly offensive theory, the Asian community responded by banning Down from Benihana and P.F. Chang's.

Best if saved for: Any friend with an unusually large Sanrio collection or, if you're a real prick, someone with Down syndrome.


Scott Douglas said...

What category would you put a person who writes an entire blog about the degrees of stupidity?

Funky Smith said...
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punkirebel said...
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punkirebel said...
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EdK said...

In what category would you put a person who comes to this site and then complains about the author?

Look at the self-important sissy in the avatar and decide for yourself.

EdK said...
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Her Assistant said...

If you are offended that might be a red flag? But it isn't said that insight into self is afforded to these