Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    1
    Yes, I watched that last year and even though I stopped saying it ages ago, I do have to stop myself before I say it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    People usually sound stupid when they say it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by missygeorgia)
    It was an exact quote from your post (#89). You said 'words are just letters and sounds'. My point was referring to this.
    I see I said words are just letters and sounds, but in #101 you said "Language is not just 'letters and sounds'" which has a very different meaning to what I said. Language and words are different, you can't just swap words like that.

    (Original post by missygeorgia)
    You might not, no, but this hatred and prejudice is very present in our society, and the use of the word gay to mean bad just reinforces this, and excuses other people's hatred.
    It doesn't reinforce this, or make it an excuse for hatred or any of that stuff. It is still not okay to hate homosexuals, whether the word gay means bad or homosexual. It doesn't matter. If people think that they can justify hatred for gays by saying "well gay does after all mean bad". everyone is not going to nod there head and say "well, he has a point there". that is retarded.

    (Original post by missygeorgia)

    Intention doesn't matter, lets say there's no intention to offend. But say you invite a mate back to your house to meet your mum, and he greets her with 'hey *****'. Would you expect your mum to not be offended, and to accept that he's simply 'redefining' the word? Of course not. We cannot ignore the history and implications the words have. That history will always be there. Saying you're 'redefining' the word is crazy. What if- with no malicious intent- you went up to your girlfriend's mum and called her a ******? Would you just explain that you're redefining the word to mean 'black person' and expect her to think that's ok? You say the words don't matter- of course the words matter. Words are symbols, they have history and implications.
    You have to understand that there is a difference between saying hey ***** and saying that is gay. just as there is a difference between saying that is so gay to a sensitive homosexual, than there is to someone who understands what you mean.
    that is an example because a) a lot of people are unaware that ***** would have this alternate meaning, unlike the word gay. b) if there was my mum wouldn't be aware of it and c) my mum would know nothing of the kind of person my friend is if she is meeting him for the first time.

    A better example would be if you go up to a friend and say "alright you old *******".
    When I said that words don't matter I was referring to my example because it shows that meaning and words are independent of each other. If someone doesn't get your meaning and assumes their meaning then of course they will take offence.

    (Original post by missygeorgia)

    But I thought your whole point is that people shouldn't be offended. You can redefine words, but they are only redefined for you. Just because you choose to ignore the offence they hold, that doesn't mean the offensive connotations aren't there for other people.
    My point is that people shouldn't be offended, not that the wont.


    Loosen up, let your hair down, and you will find that if you stop jumping at every opportunity to be offended you will life a happier life
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I'm not sure. I used to think it was, but then again people don't say "that's so gay!" in reference to homosexuals (or at least I don't), it's supposed to mean something completely different. Afterall, Gay did used to mean happy!

    Someone had probably already said all that, but **** reading 11 pages of comments, lol.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tallgeese)
    Just wanted to highlight this quote again, think it's pretty much what I was about to type but didn't know how to express it

    Just wondering, would anyone disagree with this, and why? Seems pretty much on the money to me.
    Thanks!

    As for who would disagree, that would be missygeorgia. You can read her reasons below. Some are actually pretty compelling!

    (Original post by missygeorgia)
    I agree that someone using the 'gay' to describe something bad doesn't mean that they're necessarily homophobic. Usually it means that they're ignorant of the homophobic implications of the use of this word, which is still crap. Because even if the person using the word doesn't hate gay people, he or she is still giving off the underlying impression to other people that gay=bad, and is still furthering that idea in society.

    I don't think that arguing that this use of the word gay trivialises homophobia- I think the trivialising of homophobia is done by the use of this word. By casually and carelessly using homophobic language the implication is that it's ok to be derogatory towards gay people, and that homophobia isn't a big deal, 'it's just language'. But being irresponsible about the language we use is one step away from being irresponsible about our actions, and the way society treats homosexuals.

    I don't think 'monitoring' people's language will bring down homophobia, but being careful about the way we use language will help combat casual homophobia and the reinforcement of the idea that gay=bad.
    Well yes, the fact that the word "gay" now both means homosexual and lame is definitely a throwback to an intensely homophobic society I agree. That word did arise as a result of homophobia, but that doesn't mean it is tied to it in any way.

    However, I just think that even though it's the same word, those two different meanings to it (gay as in homosexual and gay as in lame) have kinda divulged from each other so those two meanings are not really being associated anymore. A word can have two unrelated meanings you know, so I simply don't agree with you that by using "gay" as a derogatory word promotes any kind of homophobic ideals like you claim. In fact, the occurence of "gay" being used in that context is going up and up and up while homophobia is indisputably going down; which would directly contradict your model that the derogatory use of "gay" is reinforcing any idea that homosexuality is bad. It really isn't. I think how the word "gay" is used is a non-issue in terms of increasing homophobia and I think that the "casual homophobia" you mentioned is not homophobia at all. I'd even tell people to use words like "queer" and "poof" and even "fag" as much as you want, for as long as you still treat me well, I care not whatsoever.

    I mean, I myself lost count of the number of times I've been watching a really cheesy film and then thought to myself or said to the guy next to me, "Geez this is such a gay film" and then a moment later realised "Oh wait I'm gay" and then I just kinda laughed to myself.

    My point about "trivialising" is that I feel that combatting language is completely the wrong way to go about tackling any kind of discrimination really. I mean, with racism, the whole forbidding racial slurs thing did not deal with the problem. Now we just have this situation where lots of people wouldn't dare say the word "paki" or the "n" word EVER because it's so definitely and beyond doubt racist; but then would not really think twice about forbidding their child to be friends with a black kid (because of the whole criminal stereotype). To them, that's certainly not racist at all!

    Similarly, people with genuine, deep-rooted homophobia will not become more tolerant by simply forcing them to choose their words carefully; nor will tolerant people suddenly turn into homophobes if people go around saying "That's so gay".

    I think while people have the responsibility to be respectful and try not to be offensive, the burden is also on people to try and not be so easily offended, or if they are, to just deal with that. You could also argue that since "gay" used to mean happy, that by referring to homosexual people as "gay", you're suggesting that people of other sexual orientations are not happy or something, and thus the word "gay" should also be banned because it's offensive to people who are not gay. See how you can twist things like these out of proportion? It's not the job of society to pander exclusively to the easily offended.

    Language is a medium for conveying ideas. If you want to get rid of the idea, it is only truly effective to target the ideas themselves. If I started spewing racial slurs, it would not magically turn me into a racist nor would it turn others into racists. Political correctness (targeting language) is by far the cheapest, easiest, laziest way I've seen anyone ever try to deal with discrimination.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    This is quite scary because the homophobic ideas are so subtle that they are accepted.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think people have adjusted to it, but I still think it's wrong. Yeah you may be saying it as "lame", not "homosexual" but that just makes it sounds as if being gay is "lame". It's a stupid phrase to use and I never say it, nor feel the need to.

    My friends say things like "that's gay" and then they reply by saying "you're gay" and burst into hysterics. I don't find it funny and the way they say it makes it sounds like they do find it funny.

    But I have seen them make sure not to say it around someone who is gay. Makes me tempted to say I'm gay just so they'll shut up xD
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    i think its just meaningless (not that that's a particularly good thing)

    but, im sure it can hit a raw note with some homosexuels, but i expect most just think 'clearly they can't think of anything more intelligent to say'
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    I have 2 gay best friends. And they both don't reay care when someone says "that's so gay"
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    I see I said words are just letters and sounds, but in #101 you said "Language is not just 'letters and sounds'" which has a very different meaning to what I said. Language and words are different, you can't just swap words like that.
    Doesn't make any difference to my point. Why does that distinction matter in regards to this?


    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    It doesn't reinforce this, or make it an excuse for hatred or any of that stuff. It is still not okay to hate homosexuals, whether the word gay means bad or homosexual. It doesn't matter. If people think that they can justify hatred for gays by saying "well gay does after all mean bad". everyone is not going to nod there head and say "well, he has a point there". that is retarded.
    Except homophobia is very, very rarely as overt as that.


    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    You have to understand that there is a difference between saying hey ***** and saying that is gay. just as there is a difference between saying that is so gay to a sensitive homosexual, than there is to someone who understands what you mean.
    that is an example because a) a lot of people are unaware that ***** would have this alternate meaning, unlike the word gay. b) if there was my mum wouldn't be aware of it and c) my mum would know nothing of the kind of person my friend is if she is meeting him for the first time.
    My point is that your point about redefining words and shaking their offensive connotations doesn't stand. Just as people will rightly be offended if you use insults as standard greetings, people will rightly be offended if you use the official term for homosexuals as an insult. You can't choose to swap the meanings of words in that way and then say that people shouldn't be offended. If you went up to a man and called him the N word, he would be offended, and he wouldn't stop being offended if you explained you'd redefined the term to mean something inoffensive. Even if he knew exactly what you meant, he would still be offended, because of your insensitivity and ignorance when it came to the history and connotations of the word. Your intention doesn't stop the word being offensive.



    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    Loosen up, let your hair down, and you will find that if you stop jumping at every opportunity to be offended you will life a happier life
    Wise up, start using language maturely and responsibly and you'll find you'll get a lot more respect from people.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by missygeorgia)


    Wise up, start using language maturely and responsibly and you'll find you'll get a lot more respect from people.

    No poo-face

    hehehe

    *runs away from this ******ry never to return again because I could argue for you forever and you would never get it and I am niggardly with my time*
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I never liked it as a phrase, but I don't think it could ever be sincerely taken as offensive towards gay people. Anyway, there are many more colourful adjectives that can be used in place of the word 'gay'.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I use that's so Allah. Lol jokes. It definitely has the potential to offend but I don't take that much offense to words tbh.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Is it wrong that we live in such a politically correct society?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    It may not be intended that way, but really it is trying to use being homosexual as an insult.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It is not, same way "Question 7 was retarded" is not wrong. Homos are retards of XXI century. Nobody really likes them, nobody would want one in their family but has to pretend that its different.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    In theory, it is pretty insulting to homosexuals - you're using 'gay' to basically mean ****/crap/etc. But if someone would have to be very easily offended to feel insulted by this.

    A gay teacher at my old school used to get REALLY offended if you described something which wasn't homosexual as gay, e.g. "This book is so gay!"
    Another teacher (straight) obviously wasn't offended by this sort of usage of the word 'gay', but he did find it really odd - if you said to him, "Sir, this book is really gay, I hate it!" he'd always come back with something like, "How can a book possibly be homosexual?!"
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JW92)
    If you used the word "black" or "Jewish" when you meant "crap", most people would agree that it could be interpreted as an offensive comment. Why should "gay" be any different?
    Yes, but then when gay started to be used to mean "crap" it would have been utterly shocking. I remember when when I was 7 or 8 I turned around to my dad who was kicking me under the table, and yelled in front of an entire room full of holidaymakers "Stop that! Don't be so gay!" and of course I didn't mean it in a homophobic sense, hell, I don't even think I understood what homosexuality was at that age, let alone have any form of opinion on it, yet the entire room went silent. Yet, I say "that is so gay" every now and again, seldom, but still, and still I mean it to mean "crap", and I have said it in front of gay friends and they don't bat an eyelid. So although the stigma is still there, the word is undergoing semantic change, and so eventually, the sole meaning could indeed be "crap". If you change the word with anything, such as "black" or "jewish" it could equally how the same effect, in that at first it would be shocking and such a taboo, but as more people begin to use this word, and more people begin to realise that it isn't meant in a racist sense, then the meaning could also change. Well, maybe not in these cases since black is a colour and we can't exactly change the meaning, but there are enough words in the English language with more than one meaning .
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    There's nothing wrong with saying it. The word idiot means someone with an exceptionally low IQ. Yet for some reason it's ok to call someone whos made a stupid mistake an idiot. Words are always distorted so unless it is focused on you as a homeosexual why should you care if the word is used improperly?
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    It's not good, but it's one of my phrases
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: January 20, 2010
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brexit voters: Do you stand by your vote?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.