The problem is, I think, that the connotation of these terms change in the culture and it is hard to evaluate
what things meant then from our perspective now. Most interesting, I think, is the evolution of terms
having to do with low intelligence. At one point "moron", "imbecile", and "idiot" were professionally
applied labels, each with a different technical meaning. Then we switched to "mentally retarded" which I
recall having the sound of trying to give things a positive spin. It just meant that you were "not as fast at
this moment", or something like that. Then it took on a negative connotation, too, and the children started
calling each other "retards". Remember? The people who invented "special education" were trying to
change the meaning in a positive way, but, woops, now "special education" means "a class of retards", in
kid talk. Doesn't it?
It is more difficult to control the meaning of things than just switching the vocabulary. Often language has
its way with us.