Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Keeping Up With Developments in the English language":Words don't have meaning

Someone has been watching too much Jonny Quest
Via a Sadly, No! link to Black Five comes an article from the Marine Times:
The video's title, apparently misspelled as "Hadji Girl," refers to a Haji, or wise person, who has traveled to Mecca. Many U.S. military members refer to all Iraqis as Haji, either neutrally or pejoratively.

Nice to see them concede that it's not used positively. After all, one would never call anyone a "wise person" except as an insult.

And then there is this, of which a Major Metropolitan Daily apparently decided that "fag" is not so offensive a term as (presumably) "shit" or "fucking."

And the paper has a defender in Ozzie Guillen, whose original statement "What a piece of [deleted] he is, [deleted] fag" prompted the column.
Guillen said that in Venezuela, that word is not a reference to a person's sexuality, but to his courage. He said he was saying that [Sun-Times columnist Jay] Mariotti is "not man enough to meet me and talk about [things before writing]."

Well, that's much more positive.

Clearly, the Venezuelan Guillen and the editors at the Sun-Times learned from the British, who have decided that gay is a perfectly acceptable derogatory term.
"The word 'gay,' in addition to being used to mean 'homosexual' or 'carefree,' was often now used to mean 'lame' or 'rubbish.' This is a widespread current usage of the word amongst young people."

Of course, it wasn't being used by a young person, but rather by Radio One host Chris Moyles, who
dismissed a ringtone by saying..."I don't want that one, it's gay."

Nice to know elders learn from the young as well.


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