This used to be the craze in late elementary school, steadily picking up in middle school, and sickeningly abundant in high school. “Dude, she assigned us more homework.” “Really? Man, that’s gay.” That’s the sort of thing you would hear all the time. “No, I don’t want to do that; I’ll get in trouble.” “Dude, don’t be gay.”
You would think people would get over that stupid saying by college, but I still see it. Unbelievable. Granted, I don’t see it much with the university students at school, but I still hear it occasionally and I still see it a lot on FaceBook, in the online world, etc. It just bugs me that grown people who are supposed to be more “mature” and “well-educated” are still being ignorant.
It’s such a put-down phrase…whoever thought of it must have been against homosexuals. Now kids, teens, adults(?) use it freely without a second thought. I wish people would think about it before they say it and realize, “Oh, wait…why am I even saying that?” The word “gay” has three specific dictionary meanings. One is the adjective for homosexual, and one is the noun for a homosexual man. The third meaning is the almost obsolete adjective of being “cheerful” or “carefree.” It is NOT supposed to mean anything negative, but somehow it’s used that way by kids even as young as 10 years old.
Here is a little history from my MacBook’s dictionary:
Gay meaning ‘homosexual,’ dating back to the 1930s (if not earlier), became established in the 1960s as the term preferred by homosexual men to describe themselves. It is now the standard accepted term throughout the English-speaking world. As a result, the centuries-old other senses of gay meaning either ‘carefree’ or ‘bright and showy,’ once common in speech and literature, are much less frequent. The word gay cannot be readily used unselfconsciously today in these older senses without sounding old-fashioned or arousing a sense of double entendre, despite concerted attempts by some to keep them alive.
That is sooo true. Wow. The original meaning of the word has died. It makes me wonder if it died simply because it’s too difficult using the word and having to discern from a homosexual man or a happy man, or if it’s just because people are put off by the homosexual use of the word “gay” and no longer want to associate it with the positive word it once was. I’m sure it’s both, but possibly more of the latter. I mean, come on, we even have our little elementary kids being brainwashed to think “gay” is a bad word.