Word Abuse: GAY


There was a time, not so long ago, when people used this word to mean what it meant “Merry”, “happy”, “jovial”, “fancy-free”.
G-A-Y: Three little letters that make me think of immeasurable happiness. Ga-” as in, “Good”, “ay!” as in, a satisfied “hey!”. All was well for everyone.

Sadly the word has been high-jacked by a group whose very existence, 50 years ago, was illegal and who have no linguistic credentials whatever!    Gay persons!    “Gay” in its current usage is less “fancy-free” than “fancy Fred”, a deplorable situation, which leaves those of us who want only to have a moderately enjoyable, gay afternoon UNABLE to do so, because we have no other word with which to describe it.    I feel so victimised.    As this page should make you see, English is actually rather a fragile and impoverished language, lacking any synonym for OUR word “gay”!    For this reason alone, its true meaning must be defended.

I’ve never understood what exactly was wrong with the term “sodomite”, personally.    The word could easily be re-claimed and given a positive meaning.    If “lesbians” have no qualms with being named after an ancient holy location, why should gay men object?     We have tried to meet our confused friends half-way, with “homosexual” (from the Greek omo-, ‘same’, and the English -sexual), the word used ever since homosexuality was identified as a pathological condition.    But for some reason they proudly accept point-blank neither the precise label that best describes them, nor any of the other imaginative original words that we heterosexuals kindly have invented for them.   As well as preferring to tick “female” instead of “male” on forms (maybe), they stubbornly continue to mis-describe themselves as, “gay”, or even, “same-sex” (Heavens above! What on earth is THAT supposed to mean?).    Let us hope that this linguistic deviancy will quickly die in Oblivion, before all of our speech turns that way!

Other innocuous words with dirty meanings include:
– straight
– affair
– stage fright
– lover
– oral
– one-night stand
– babe-station
– go down
– mutual mass debate
However, we have no plans to pursue these as they are exclusively heterosexual and do not annoy us as much as the word “gay”, upon which we are concentrating all of our limited resources at the moment.   Not that we, or the Queen’s English Society, are homophobic in any way.    We just don’t like “gay”.

(Writing about “fad words”, the QES stated: “The language is always the richer for their passing.   Such a word, 50 years ago, was ‘queer’ meaning homosexual; that has now slipped into oblivion and we can only hope that the word ‘gay’ will soon follow it.”[2] Then they bemoaned the loss of the old meaning of “gay”, then Martin Estinel did the same thing in a news article, then the QES deleted their webpage when they realised that everyone who regularly claims to love the old meaning of “gay” is also a homophobe. What a coincidence.)

(RabbitWho also notes that their comment[3] about ticking the wrong sex on a form is also anti-transgender/-intersex, but I choose to believe that the author of that page just hasn’t heard of that kind of thing.)

LGBT Pride: This photo does not
make me feel uncomfortable.


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