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Old 02-23-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default Man, these seats are gay. I can't even see what's going on!

Sorry if this has been touched upon already, but it's something that have bothered me for years.
What's up with the frequent negative use of the word 'gay' in the English language? Same goes out for 'retarded'. I cringe everytime someone uses it.


.........
I realize UD is not the best source but...:

1. gay

1. jovial or happy, good-spirited

2. a homosexual male or female

3. often used to describe something stupid or unfortunate. originating from homophobia. quite preferable among many teenage males in order to buff up their "masculinity"



Am i being oversensitive here? I'm wondering what you all think about it.
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:20 PM   #2
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There are a few new "public service" type commercials on TV here that explores that same idea. The message of the commercial is to basically tell people to stop using the word gay in that way. I have no idea if it'll be effective but i thought it was kinda cool.
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
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My gay male friends and straight female friends sometimes use "that's so gay" to describe something stupid and unfortunate. I hate how I can't call them out on it because they are not homophobic, just puerile.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:14 AM   #4
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Drives me crazy too. I was actually explaining to my ten year old this weekend how little tolerance I'd have for his ever using it that way (and ditto for 'fat'). I told him I could live with "lame" if he had to have some negative adjective for everyday use, although obviously that is not without risk of offending people either.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:36 AM   #5
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Hmm..You know, it really doesnt bother me. Language is changing all the time and i say let it. I hate the word 'gay' anyway.. its so limp. Have it mean something crap and not something queer. When it became something queer as opposed to something happy i'm sure the queers at the time were anything but.. anyway..i'm confusing myself! I dont think teenagers actually make the link between Shit=gay=queer..Though, i think if you have to apppologise before you say something its probs best not to say it.. i know someone who is actually 30 and said "Man..that is so gay..i dont mean that as as an insult or anything". haha.. i really didnt take it as one. I never name my sexuality "gay" not ever.. i hate the word and i hope it changes!
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:24 AM   #6
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A few months ago, I was having trouble buying a lottery ticket - the printer wasn't working properly. The vendor said to me, "Sorry about this, the machine's acting gay" - the look on his face when I asked "How?"

By the way, the thankfully-defunct British gay slang Polari (as in no need to hide what you're saying using another lexicon) has the word "naff," meaning a straight person, as in "nah [no] f---ing use" - this word now also means "bad" or "rubbish" in the UK.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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Yeah, none of these words bother me either. I call things "retarded" at least five times per day

Like mergirl said, languages evolve and words change meanings. A lot of my GLB friends call things "gay" all the time...no apologies. Could have to do with the fact that they don't really use that word to describe themselves anymore - they like to use "fag" and "dyke!" Yes, we are a cultured group....

And one more thing: I'm fairly young and have grown up with words like "gay" being used to mean "crappy" or other negative slang meanings moreso than meaning "homosexual." In grade 2, if someone called me "gay," I could be about 100% sure that they didn't think I had sex with women....I was probably wearing an ugly pink tracksuit.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:35 PM   #8
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Hmm, I am far more likely to throw a hissy fit if a straight guy uses the word gay to mean something crappy regardless of whether he is homophobic or not.

I do use the words like "lame" and "retarded" once in a while though.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:46 PM   #9
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Does this all mean we shouldn't use the word queer to refer to something peculiar anymore? Or the word fag to mean cigarette. Because I know I've had dirty looks for both. It makes me a little bit sad that words don't have the same connotations as they used to.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the use of these words when they're used in an outrightly offensive way.

Similarly to some of the people who have posted before, I have gay friends who are always calling things gay. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Should they be rallying against their orientation being used in a defamatory way, or are they doing the right thing in not letting it bother them?
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixelpops View Post
Does this all mean we shouldn't use the word queer to refer to something peculiar anymore? Or the word fag to mean cigarette. Because I know I've had dirty looks for both. It makes me a little bit sad that words don't have the same connotations as they used to.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the use of these words when they're used in an outrightly offensive way.

Similarly to some of the people who have posted before, I have gay friends who are always calling things gay. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Should they be rallying against their orientation being used in a defamatory way, or are they doing the right thing in not letting it bother them?
I think if you can say something without feeling a shudder then its ok usually, though there are exceptions to the rule. When i smoked i used to say 'i'm going for a fag' i didnt mean i'm going for a gay guy..i think when in context most people would get that. 'Fag' is a very outdated term for gay men also more American than British. Infact i hadnt actually heard anyone saying it until someone said something was fagotty in hyde park the other night... maby he just ment kinna smokey though..
I think queer for peculiar is sort of outdated and is slipping away and 'queer' for gay is comming in.. though again this is more prominant in America as of yet i think.
I still use gay, when i'm trying to be polite, like if someone is asking me about chatting up a friend i will be like "sorry he's gay" Not "haha you gay he is queer"!! ..I dont actually use the word "gay" to mean something crappy either though..but it really doesnt bother me if anyone else does.. cause as i said i dont think the link is there for them any more between shit and homo.
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