You see, Americans are pretty nice, actually. We’re a polyglot nation, and try to avoid calling each other names any more than is necessary, like when you step on my foot in the subway, you jerkwater doofus. But whatever our faults, we try not to give offense if we can avoid it. We’re not Canadian, but we live next door; how bad can we be?
When I was young, the linguistic powers that be and the euphemism police wanted to stop calling the mentally challenged “idiots”, or “morons”. or “imbeciles.” They thought it was rude. So we did as they asked, because, hey, we’re nice. Honest. They told us to call mentally challenged people “retarded.”
Well, since 2006, they’ve changed their minds again, and don’t want you calling anyone retarded, either. And since the term idiot, moron, and imbecile are now terms reserved for members of Congress, we really do have to come up with a term for, oh, I don’t know, let’s say for example, young fellows that clutch a wire from a battery in one hand while waving their hand over a damp concrete floor until they produce a spark and ignite some form of petroleum they’ve spilled there. Hmmm.
I have it! The Cyrillicly Challenged.