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KotO[REvan]
08-25-2007, 02:05 AM
Warning: this post contains intense terms and language.

This thread probably isn't as awesome as you thought it was going to be when you opened it. Sorry.

But anyway, when people say something is gay, as in, it's "uncool" or "lame" or suchlike, does that offend you? Do you think it's somehow unacceptable? I'd been thinking about this for a while now. In fact, I was talking to a homosexual the other day (my relativeís friend), and he freely called the service at the bar "gay," and then later on went on to describe the pool table as "fu*king gay" because it was a terrible table. I was quietly amused by it actually, but it didn't seem to bother him one bit. But, countless times Iíve seen others get on their high horse about it - pretty much always straight people by the way - and pull out these big spiels about how casually saying something is "gay" makes you a horrible person because it demeans homosexuals and so on.

I personally don't think that it does, so I still say it regularly. I don't think it's any kind of malicious attack on homosexuals like people make out that it is because the meaning has changed. It was a juvenile insult, but now it's just become another slang word in itself like the words "suck" and "blow."

~snipped~

That just doesn't make any sense, so it would have to be a reference to homosexual behavior. With that in mind, why do people kick up a stink when somebody says something is "gay," but not when somebody says something "blows" or "sucks," ~snipped~ Well I know why, but it seems a bit ridiculous is what Iím trying to point out.

This topic isn't pointed out to insult or offend any possible homosexuals here on lucasforums. This post has also been discussed on other forums before, I just thought I'd introduce it to lucasforums. And try to be mature about this, please?

We don't need to get that descriptive. This is a PG-13 forum. Use discretion, please. --Jae

Titanius Anglesmith
08-25-2007, 02:38 AM
I don't get offended when someone says something is gay. In fact, I say it quite often. From the way me and my friends use it, we don't mean any insult to homosexuals at all, but like other words (like suck or blow), it's entire meaning has been changed. In my opinion, saying "This car is gay" is just like saying "This car is a pathetic peace of crap." Once again, not meaning anything derogatory toward homosexuals, but the word has simply gained another definition besides the one that usually applies nowadays. How often do we hear people describing themselves as "gay" when they mean they're happy? Just like how it gained a "homosexual" definition at some point in time, it's somehow gained an "insult" definition.

As far as words like "suck" go, it's pretty much the same thing. I say it, my friends say it... hell, even my youth pastor says it. When I say "suck", I don't even think about anything sexual, I just say it as an insult.

Totenkopf
08-25-2007, 04:55 PM
How often do we hear people describing themselves as "gay" when they mean they're happy?

I'd wager almost never, at least anymore. Much more prevalent in the 19th century.

SilentScope001
08-25-2007, 07:24 PM
The Gay Science (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gay_Science).

Altough, to be fair, while I know you don't mean to be insulting, it's, well, insulting, because you are equviliant a sexual preference, or at least sterotypes of the sexual preferences (having femneinie and weak qualities) as being bad indeed. I mean, I'm sure many people would be offended if I say:

"Man, that car is soooo Hetro! It's straightness is something to be, well, depised. Trash it, will you?"

Still, it's probraly going to not be used in about 50 years, and we'll have to find another slur. We need to find a slur that doesn't have sexual, ethnic, or religious connotions, so that nobody can be offended. How about, "nonplussed"?

KotO[REvan]
08-25-2007, 07:33 PM
Jae, wouldn't it be fair if I just put up a warning on both title and before the post itself? This is a PG-13 forum, but it's in a board that is of serious discussion and what-not. I really didn't see the need for all of the sniping :P

Jae Onasi
08-25-2007, 07:40 PM
My grandma always said, "If you can't find anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all."

Why do you even need to say "Oh, that's so gay" when there are plenty of other alternatives?

Darth InSidious
08-25-2007, 07:48 PM
'Gay'. Meaning: happy, joyous.
'Homosexual.' Meaning: if you can't figure this one out...
'Homophobe'. One with an irrational fear, seated in the subconscious, of things being or that are the same.

Use words for what they actually mean, people.

Pavlos
08-25-2007, 07:56 PM
How often do we hear people describing themselves as "gay" when they mean they're happy?

Yup, semantic shifts are commonplace in English; how many people use obsequious as a word to describe mourning? It just doesn't happen. Quite why people choose to fight the progression of the language is beyond me. But I don't believe I've ever referred to anything as being "gay" - there are so many other, more descriptive, words to use.

Edit:

Use words for what they actually mean, people.

Obviously you're not a fan of the aforementioned semantic shift :xp:.

Achilles
08-25-2007, 07:59 PM
I find it interesting that we use demographics as derogatory terms and then wonder why people are offended.

If "gay" accurately described a thing or an event (like Patton Oswalt's take on cirque du soleil), then that one thing. To say that a pool table is "gay" because it's in poor shape just shows that the user has poor vocabulary skills. I'm all for using slang in appropriate situations, but if one can't even accurately match the term to the scenario, well...

And yes, I'm fully aware of the G & L movement to "take back" the term "gay", but that doesn't make them appear any less idiotic then their heterosexual brothers and sisters when using it - at least in my book.

tk102
08-25-2007, 08:03 PM
The terms "this sucks" and "this blows" can mean other things. When you call someone a suck-up, you mean they are more like a leech than anything. And when you blow chunks, you are puking. Both of these have bad connotations, and could be implied by saying "this sucks" or "this blows".

Even if these words were indeed references to homosexuality like "gay", "sucks" and "blows" are verbs while "gay" is an adjective. Using the verbs as derogatory descriptions implies that you think the action "to suck" or "to blow" is bad. Using the adjective in the same way suggests the noun itself is bad. That makes it more personal and therefore more offensive to a homosexual.

Darth InSidious
08-25-2007, 08:05 PM
Obviously you're not a fan of the aforementioned semantic shift :xp:.
I'm a fan of saying what you mean and meaning what you say. I'm also a fan of having a grasp of the root of much of our language. homos - same. phobos - fear, dread. Really, there is no other meaning. Semantic shift is an excuse for media labelling and the bandying of buzzwords. Look at 'homophobe' as a prime example.

Pavlos
08-25-2007, 08:17 PM
I'm a fan of saying what you mean and meaning what you say. I'm also a fan of having a grasp of the root of much of our language. homos - same. phobos - fear, dread. Really, there is no other meaning. Semantic shift is an excuse for media labelling and the bandying of buzzwords. Look at 'homophobe' as a prime example.

Then I suppose we should all speak in Old English? Or perhaps Latin? Neither of which I'm particularly well-up on. The evolution of a language is a constant thing. No doubt people from the 17th century would be a bit miffed that words they once used to curse one another are now brushed off with little effort - words such as damn.

I'd think it stupid if a person described something as "gay" in an essay - idiom should be kept separate from the formal language (until such time as the slang becomes formality, as it so often does without our noticing it). But unless there is a large cry from the gay community of anguish and disgust then I see no need to brand such a description as being insulting.

Darth InSidious
08-25-2007, 08:20 PM
We should say what we mean, and mean what we say.

Often what is meant by the use of 'homophobe' is: 'I don't like you, you are insulting/criticising someone who is G/L/B, and I can't think of a better insult or criticism of you.'

Pavlos
08-25-2007, 08:30 PM
We should say what we mean, and mean what we say.

Often what is meant by the use of 'homophobe' is: 'I don't like you, you are insulting/criticising someone who is G/L/B, and I can't think of a better insult or criticism of you.'

Indeed, but when such a usage becomes so common that 99% of the population use "homophobe" not as a noun meaning one who fears homosexuals but as an insult you can hardly say that it's improper. Anyway, in Britain at any rate, this sort of usage of "gay" is rife among 11 year old boys who don't actually have much of a clue as to the meaning of the word. It seems to die out once puberty sets in. The evolution of language is a complex thing, some changes will last a hundred years, others may only last a decade... or even less.

Do you object to the use of the word "cool" as an adjective meaning "excellent" or "fine", or even "laid back"?

Lord Foley
08-25-2007, 10:49 PM
I know several gay people myself, and in total honesty, KotO[Revan] is right: only straight people (as far as I've seen) get upset about the phrase.

Considering 'gay' doesn't even technically mean homosexual, I don't think there's any reason for people to get upset when its used wrong a different way.

Of course, I think everyone in the whole world should just suck it up and get a little more thick-skinned. Words are words, people. Some crybabies seem never to learn the sticks and stones rhyme.

tk102
08-25-2007, 10:53 PM
Words can incite actions, like breaking bones with sticks and stones.

John Galt
08-26-2007, 01:35 AM
I'm tired of trying to be politically correct. That is all.

Weave
08-26-2007, 03:51 AM
In fact, I was talking to a homosexual the other day (my relativeís friend), and he freely called the service at the bar "gay," and then later on went on to describe the pool table as "fu*king gay" because it was a terrible table. I was quietly amused by it actually, but it didn't seem to bother him one bit.

A friend of mine who is homosexual described himself as "queer". He's pretty alright with the terms "gay" and "queer" mostly because, in my opinion, homosexuals like him, have to be okay with tose words. They are the social minority... and in america, it is considered morally "wrong" to be homosexual. So they're pretty much forced to deal with those words.

Alternatively, when did 'gay' start being used to describe someone who's Homosexual? It seems to me that it was just made up back then... (I don't know how long ago, "then" would be...)... because it used to mean happy...

Darth InSidious
08-26-2007, 07:32 AM
Indeed, but when such a usage becomes so common that 99% of the population use "homophobe" not as a noun meaning one who fears homosexuals but as an insult you can hardly say that it's improper. Anyway, in Britain at any rate, this sort of usage of "gay" is rife among 11 year old boys who don't actually have much of a clue as to the meaning of the word. It seems to die out once puberty sets in. The evolution of language is a complex thing, some changes will last a hundred years, others may only last a decade... or even less.

Do you object to the use of the word "cool" as an adjective meaning "excellent" or "fine", or even "laid back"?
No, because when you do use 'cool' in its original sense, you don't get odd looks.

@Achilles: 'Take back'? I wasn't aware any group could 'own' words...

Achilles
08-26-2007, 10:01 AM
@Achilles: 'Take back'? I wasn't aware any group could 'own' words... All the cool kids are "taking back" something nowadays. Apparently it's the trendy thing to do.

Wikipedia has a nice article on "Reappropriation" however I can't link to it without violating the PG-13 policy.

John Galt
08-26-2007, 06:12 PM
All the cool kids are "taking back" something nowadays. Apparently it's the trendy thing to do.


Reminds me of Clerks II...

tombewley
08-26-2007, 08:16 PM
I myself am gay and I don't take offence to it. It's just a new meaning of the word, such as gay used to mean happy. People don't actually mean "That film was homosexual" or "She bloody overcharged me, how homosexual.

Words evolve, and I find it weird how some gay people take offence to all this. Things change, everything changes, just like our language.

mimartin
08-26-2007, 10:03 PM
Any word or phrase that reinforces disparaging stereotypes is offensive to me as a human being. Use of such words is a poor habit to get into and should be self-censored from each of our vocabulary. Iím not for all this political correctness, but words that denigrated another are offensive and could cause problems and hurt another in the future. Using words to tear down another so that so that we feel superior is just plain wrong and make us all look smaller and less intelligent. If we allow such words and phrases to become a part of our vocabulary we run the risk of hurting someone unintentually

I once used a very disparaging word to a co-worker while trying to comfort her for breaking a display. In trying to tell her that it was mine and the managerís fault I said the (N word) rigged. I still feel the guilt and shame of the incident and it has been over 20 years ago.

As to people in whatever group using the term or phase, that is their prerogative, but I still believe it promotes unwanted stereotypes.

Nancy Allen``
08-27-2007, 08:17 AM
I choose not to use words like that, discriminatory words like gay, retarded, ect. If I feel strongly about something I'll use language sure, I make no apologies for some of the comments I have made, but I try and not use such slurs.

Qui-Gon Glenn
08-29-2007, 04:00 AM
Well... I think the forum has missed something here.

Using 'gay' as KotOREvan is advocating is a little boys behavior. (Period, paragraph)

I used the word that way as a little boy too. It was funny to call something lame or stupid "gay", since being gay was a bad, horrible thing to be. This is called culturalization. Our parents didn't want kids being gay... too many headaches... so if we scare the kids into thinking that being gay is stupid, lame, sh**ty... then they won't be gay!!!! (Yeah... they weren't thinking all that well, I know...)

When you reach a maturity level where you evaluate and chose the words that you express carefully, trying to convey meaning, slang descriptives become less and less valuable, especially the ones that aren't all that funny - which are usually the disparaging ones.

I can't stand being PC, but I also am not a jerk.

Jae Onasi
08-29-2007, 02:06 PM
Our parents didn't want kids being gay... too many headaches... so if we scare the kids into thinking that being gay is stupid, lame, sh**ty... then they won't be gay!!!! (Yeah... they weren't thinking all that well, I know...)

As a parent I find this blanket assumption about parenting to be incorrect and a bit misleading. I certainly don't try to scare my kids into not doing something, since that's counter-productive. I certainly don't teach them pejorative phrases in an attempt to make them avoid whatever the thing is that I want them to avoid. If I did, I'd be teaching them to say "Oh, he's such a nose-picker!" or "She is so non-handwasher-after-using-the-bathroom". I certainly don't think the vast majority of parents are actively teaching their kids to say 'That's gay!!11one11!!eleventy-one!!" as a teaching tool to avoid homosexuality. We try at our home not to use such phrases simply because they're offensive in some circles, and there's really no reason at all to use such language in any case.

Qui-Gon Glenn
08-29-2007, 02:18 PM
As a parent I find this blanket assumption about parenting to be incorrect and a bit misleading. I certainly don't try to scare my kids into not doing something, since that's counter-productive. I certainly don't teach them pejorative phrases in an attempt to make them avoid whatever the thing is that I want them to avoid. If I did, I'd be teaching them to say "Oh, he's such a nose-picker!" or "She is so non-handwasher-after-using-the-bathroom". I certainly don't think the vast majority of parents are actively teaching their kids to say 'That's gay!!11one11!!eleventy-one!!" as a teaching tool to avoid homosexuality. We try at our home not to use such phrases simply because they're offensive in some circles, and there's really no reason at all to use such language in any case.

Understood Jae... and I wasn't necessarily pointing at this generation of parents... I was pointing more towards parents of my generation, and especially their parents. (I'm 35 for generational reference)

I think that modern parents have toned down (or tuned out) a lot of that stuff... yet there are still the fundamentalist types, who I will argue again and again mess up the pie for all of us.

mimartin
08-29-2007, 02:55 PM
Using 'gay' as KotOREvan is advocating is a little boys behavior. (Period, paragraph)
While I agree with you and would say anyone can use whatever language they want (provided it is permitted within their current environment), I just believe it is a very bad habit to get into and could bite the user in the butt in the future. One off hand comment could cost the speaker a job, friends or hurt someone the commenter cared about. It does not mean the user of such language is a bad person. I donít believe Iím a bad person or a racist, but I did hurt another and no amount of apologizes can change that fact.

I just do not believe it is worth the risk.

Nancy Allen``
08-29-2007, 06:16 PM
Kramer, Gibson and Farell. Nothing else needs to be said.

mimartin
08-29-2007, 06:33 PM
Kramer, Gibson and Farell. Nothing else needs to be said.
At first I thought you were naming some law firm.:)

Nancy Allen``
08-29-2007, 07:06 PM
Actually all three would have needed one. Sienfeld's Kramer. Mel Gibson and Jerry Farell made racist, anti semetic and anti women comments. BOOM! These heads on pikes should serve as a reminder on using such slurs.