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    (Original post by JW92)
    Gay used to mean "happy". That meaning is now practically obsolete. Whenever the word "gay" is used in the media, in business, in politics, in the arts or by anyone over the age of fifteen, it usually means homosexual. Because the word "gay" is ordinarily used to mean homosexual, to use it to mean "rubbish" or "crap" is naturally offensive. I am familiar with the term etymology.
    What I am asking you is how do you think the word Gay to mean happy, changed to mean homosexual?

    I think you will find that by the same means that the word gay is changing to mean crappy.
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    (Original post by missygeorgia)
    Those are obscure, irrelevent websites. You didn't really prove your point. Like I said, I have never seen the word 'unwed' used in that context in the media.
    Well, I have. No really much of an argument to be had here.
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    I'm gay and my parents, sister, workmates and friends will often say things like "that film was gay" or "she's so gay" in front me. I'm then met with an awkward look as if they shouldn't have said that. I just laugh and tell them not to be so damn gay! I don't want people to feel like they have to watch what they say around me. I can think of more appropriate synonyms to use, but it's hardly offensive or homophobic. It's not like it was a personal insult directed at me. I would much prefer it if people didn't use it in that context as it's suggesting that gay has the same meaning as bad, rubbish, lazy, horrible etc.

    Sometimes it bothers me if somebody uses it all the time, but otherwise I just shrug it off. I think the word 'gay' still holds negative connotations in it's definition of sexuality. My friend at work called me 'gay' and then asked if that was the 'right' word to have used. He thought he should have said 'homosexual'. When I fill out forms I tick the box that says 'gay' under sexuality. People shouldn't be afraid of the word, but I still think a lot of ignorant people see the word 'gay' as an insult (which it isn't).
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    It is never wrong to SAY anything.
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    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    I don't know what the asterisked word is. but surely offence depends on the person taking offence.

    If i take offence to the word "Kettle" surely that makes the word kettle offensive?

    Where as if I call my gf a N ****** and she is not offended, that means in that situation ****** is not an offensive word
    It rhymes with 'bunt'.

    I agree it depends who you are speaking to for instance if you were speaking to a man who got bullied all through school for seeming camp and you said to him 'You're such a gay poof!' then he would probably find it offensive.

    But in everyday language, joking between friends if someone won't come out or whatever I think it's pretty harmless.
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    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    How is what I am doing anything different to what Chris Rock is doing?
    I am redefining a word, like he is.

    shoot me
    You're not redefining a word. You're just using that phrase as it has been used for the last x number of years but then expecting everyone to know that you're "redefining" the word simply so you can avoid admitting to having legitmately caused offense.

    My point wasn't that Chris Rock was justified but you aren't, my point was that Chris Rock only gets away with what he is doing because he is black and because he's clearly using the N word in a different way to most people by juxtaposing it with "black" to show that he isn't talking about all black people, just the nasty ones. He's reserving an offensive word for people who deserve it and he's making that clear.

    You saying "that's so gay" out on the street to talk about something random that you don't like isn't obviously and explicitly redefining that word, and unless you are gay, it's pretty obnoxious to assume you have free reign over language (including offensive language) and everyone else should just stop being so prissy and sensitive.

    If a white guy started saying "that's so black" and then said "oh, but I am not making a direct reference to black people, I am redefining the term 'black' to mean 'bad' but in a non-offensive way that doesn't make reference to black people", I'd expect him to get punched and I'd probably cheer.

    What this kind of thing comes down to is a whole bunch of people who want to be left alone to use whatever language they've become accusomted to using. When they get challenged, they pull out a whole bunch of tenuous justifications regarding the "redefinition of language" and how they don't mean to cause offense.

    Unless you're gay, you don't really have the right to start saying how people shouldn't be offended by commonly offensive phrases that were developed as a direct result of prejudice. And even if you are gay, you don't have the right to speak for all gay people. See?

    There is a huge difference between someone arbitrarily deciding that "pony" is an offensive term and then expecting everyone to stop using it and a gay person appreciating that "that's so gay" developed as a phrase because people thought homosexuality was bad, and thus being offended when people are uber casual with their language.
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    (Original post by missygeorgia)
    No, language isn't static, but that doesn't mean that language can do no wrong. You're acting like language is uneqivocally a force for good- well, this isn't the case. You're ignoring why and how language changes, and what the implications of this is. People use the word 'gay' to mean something bad because of the attitude that homosexuality is wrong. You can talk about fluidity of language or whatever but that's the long and short of it, and the impact of this is that homophobia is trivialised.

    You can say 'this is just what happens with language'- well, no, it doesn't have to be. Take some responsibility for the language you use. To me, and to millions of other people, that is not what 'gay' means, and it's an offensive way of using it. We choose not to use the word in that way. Language isn't just about change, it's about choice, and about realising you're responsible for the way you use language, and the implications of it.
    Most of the people I know think homophobia is retarded and yet still use the word gay in a bad way.

    Why? because language is a product of the previous generation. They may have had homophobic ideas, but that doesn't mean we do.

    We are slightly cleverer than that.
    If anything, homophobia has gone down, but the use of gay to mean bad has gone up. Is that confusing to you?

    Words are just letters and sounds. Nothing inherent. If you wish to attach absolute meaning to them without looking at the context be my guest. Although you will be very confused very often.

    "right now in a minute" - confusing?
    "straight over the roundabout" - confusing?
    "suck my balls" (and yet I am not gay) - confusing?


    I'll stop messing with your head now.
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    (Original post by aeonflux)
    So according to you, what words are we allowed to use? How many people have to take offense to a word before we're not allowed to use it? What if I got a group together of 10,000 people who all agree we find the word 'hello' offensive? What about if the group contained a million people?

    Saying ****** or jew or paki or gay in itself is not offensive. Whats offensive is the context. For example, having an argument with the bank manager and calling him a jew is offensive. Saying Ed Miliband is a jew is not.

    The person I was replying to claimed that something isn't offensive if the majority thinks it isn't offensive. I responded by pointing out that the majority does think this use of the word gay is offensive. That doesn't mean I think that's the only reason it shouldn't be used. There's a reason why people think it's offensive.

    Regarding your second paragraph- you're pretty much saying the same thing as me.
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    (Original post by Lefty Leo)
    It is never wrong to SAY anything.
    How about verbally abusing a child?
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    (Original post by Schmokie Dragon)
    You're not redefining a word. You're just using that phrase as it has been used for the last x number of years but then expecting everyone to know that you're "redefining" the word simply so you can avoid admitting to having legitmately caused offense.

    ................................ ...
    Unless you're gay, you don't really have the right to start saying how people shouldn't be offended by commonly offensive phrases that were developed as a direct result of prejudice. And even if you are gay, you don't have the right to speak for all gay people. See?

    There is a huge difference between someone arbitrarily deciding that "pony" is an offensive term and then expecting everyone to stop using it and a gay person appreciating that "that's so gay" developed as a phrase because people thought homosexuality was bad, and thus being offended when people are uber casual with their language.
    Language is subjective. Once you understand this you will see how anything can be offensive and how nothing can be offensive.

    Yes I would encourage people to grow a pair (context context context) and not be so sensitive.

    I used to be in a wheel chair? am i still allowed to use cripple as a bad term? or do i have to stop now I am better?

    whatever, this is pathetic. Read my George Carlin quote.
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    (Original post by missygeorgia)
    The person I was replying to claimed that something isn't offensive if the majority thinks it isn't offensive. I responded by pointing out that the majority does think this use of the word gay is offensive. That doesn't mean I think that's the only reason it shouldn't be used. There's a reason why people think it's offensive.

    Regarding your second paragraph- you're pretty much saying the same thing as me.
    I hope you are not referring to me as the guy who "claimed that something isn't offensive if the majority thinks it isn't offensive."

    if not no worries ^_^
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    Nope.
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    (Original post by missygeorgia)
    The person I was replying to claimed that something isn't offensive if the majority thinks it isn't offensive. I responded by pointing out that the majority does think this use of the word gay is offensive. That doesn't mean I think that's the only reason it shouldn't be used. There's a reason why people think it's offensive.

    Regarding your second paragraph- you're pretty much saying the same thing as me.
    I'm saying that saying 'thats so gay' is only offensive if its intended to be offensive. Nothing is offensive without context, so there is nothing wrong with calling, for example, an inanimate object gay, it doesn't make someone a homophobe.
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    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    What I am asking you is how do you think the word Gay to mean happy, changed to mean homosexual?

    I think you will find that by the same means that the word gay is changing to mean crappy.
    I think you'll find the history of the word is rather more complicated than that.

    Yes, it meant happy . . . and it also mean "glitzy" and "carefree".

    Then, it developed negative connotations when people with sexually liberated attitudes were described as gay . . . precisely because they were carefree. And then that was extended to homosexuals, because they were considered free of sexual morality and over-the-top.

    So in fact, the reference to homosexuality is directly linked to the word meaning "happy" or "joyful".

    The word has since been used in both a negative manner and also been adopted as a neutral word for homosexuals. However, when saying "that's so gay", the negativity is preserved. It should not be seen as a new usage of the word that is not linked to the history of how the word developed.

    Yes, some people still use it to mean happy and carefree, and I think context is enough to show us these cases. However, context is not enough to differentiate between people using "gay" in a negative manner because they are homophobic and people using "gay" simply because it's a word they've grown up using to mean "bad".
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    (Original post by nolongerhearthemusic)
    How about verbally abusing a child?
    What's WRONG with that? It might not be nice, friendly, accepting or very social behaviour, but is it WRONG?
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    I say "that's so gay all the time"... and im gay. So no it doesn't bother me at all lol :P
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    (Original post by Schmokie Dragon)
    Yes, some people still use it to mean happy and carefree, and I think context is enough to show us these cases. However, context is not enough to differentiate between people using "gay" in a negative manner because they are homophobic and people using "gay" simply because it's a word they've grown up using to mean "bad".
    I think that is a double standard but we'll agree to disagree.
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    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    Most of the people I know think homophobia is retarded and yet still use the word gay in a bad way.

    Why? because language is a product of the previous generation. They may have had homophobic ideas, but that doesn't mean we do.

    We are slightly cleverer than that.
    If anything, homophobia has gone down, but the use of gay to mean bad has gone up. Is that confusing to you?

    Words are just letters and sounds. Nothing inherent. If you wish to attach absolute meaning to them without looking at the context be my guest. Although you will be very confused very often.

    "right now in a minute" - confusing?
    "straight over the roundabout" - confusing?
    "suck my balls" (and yet I am not gay) - confusing?


    I'll stop messing with your head now.
    You're not messing with my head, you're just saying irrelevent things to try and justify using language irresponsibly and offensively.

    If your friends say they're anti-homophobia and still use the word gay offensively, then they're just hypocrites, that's all. And probably pretty ignorant. That doesn't prove anything.

    Language is not just 'letters and sounds'. Language is the way we communicate, it's the way we spread ideas and teach other people. We have to be responsible for the way we use language because if we don't we allow prejudice and hatred to blossom under the excuse of 'it's just language'. Since you think language is just 'letters and sounds' would you go up to a black person and call them the 'N' word to their face, and expect them not to be offended? Would you be ok with people going around calling your mother/sister/girlfriend *****es and sluts and the 'C' word? Would you expect your mum to be ok with casually being called these things, because there's 'nothing inherent' about words?

    You can't just redefine what you mean by a word and then expect nobody to be offended, or expect that to be ok. I can't suddenly say 'as far as I'm concerned, the 'N' word now is not offensive and just means black person, so I'm going to call every black person I meet a ******.' That's not how it works, and I'm at a loss to see how you can possibly claim it is.
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    (Original post by Lefty Leo)
    What's WRONG with that? It might not be nice, friendly, accepting or very social behaviour, but is it WRONG?
    Of course it is.
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    (Original post by HyperGiant)
    I hope you are not referring to me as the guy who "claimed that something isn't offensive if the majority thinks it isn't offensive."

    if not no worries ^_^
    Noop it was someone else.
 
 
 
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