Thou shalt not derp

Apparently “derpy” has slid onto the list of Insensitive Words, maintained by the Society of People Who Never Want Anyone’s Feelings Hurt. Of course, those people are jackasses, and not purebred jackasses at that:

Here’s the latest no-no: “derpy.” How do we know? Because two scholars have just publicly apologized for using it, agreeing with a peer who called their use of it out as an ableist slur.

The Urban Dictionary defines it as silly, ridiculous, awkward or clumsy. But to social justice warriors who see microaggressions in every corner, it’s an ableist slur. In other words, offensive to people with disabilities, they believe.

“Ableist,” of course, is a tissue of organic fertilizer. I thought so when I could actually walk, and I think so now: it’s just one more attempt to squeeze another word into the ever-grimmer grimoire of the Priests of Intersectionality, who assign value to people based on how many ways they’re allegedly oppressed by, well, people like me.

Anyway, this is the apology:

The word “derpy” was introduced to us as a pop-cultural term that meant believing in something despite the fact that it has been disproven. A provocative notion, given that our aim was to suggest that while queer theory has effectively undone “sexuality” as a concept, empirical research (even thoughtful, feminist sexual science) persists as if the complexity of sexuality is ultimately map-able and as if the right set of variables will resolve the epistemological differences of critical theory and neuroscience once and for all … As it turns out, the term “derpy” has also been appropriated as an ableist slur. We regret our negligence in not figuring that out before the Commentary was published.

Not a pony fan in the bunch, obviously:

In 2012, the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon ran an episode featuring a klutzy character called “Derpy.” However, after worries that she appeared to be a stereotype of the “mentally handicapped,” the character was renamed (and her voice re-recorded).

A petition to “save Derpy” wasn’t enough to prevent her dederpification.

We all — give or take a couple of losers — absolutely adored Derpy. But contemporary society demands that losers win.

Eventually, I suppose, they’ll delete this legendary speech from Billy Madison:

Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

I suggest it’s because they took it personally. And you know what? They damned well should have.

(Via Tom Knighton.)


  1. McG »

    24 July 2017 · 7:03 pm

    So they’ve taken offense on behalf of the certifiably inane. How self-interested of them.

  2. fillyjonk »

    24 July 2017 · 7:04 pm


    The thing is, when nothing is allowed to be stupid, everything is stupid. (And I truly love that Billy Madison bit. I can’t sit through an entire Adam Sandler movie, but I love that little bit)

  3. The Other McCain »

    24 July 2017 · 9:43 pm

    In The Mailbox: 07.24.17

    Dustbury: Strange Search Engine Queries, also, Thou Shalt Not Derp

  4. Holly H »

    25 July 2017 · 10:02 am

    Sandler is not my cup of tea either. I do like inane humor, for example The Lonely Guy (Steve Martin). But Sandler delivers ONLY inane, and no charm.

RSS feed for comments on this post