Wednesday, November 17, 2004

language, please!

I learned something new today from my culturally adept roommate (note: sarcasm) that rather disturbed me.

He was playing a computer game when I came home and I asked him about it. I forget (or perhaps don't care about) all the details but it was, needless to say, addicting despite it's "gayness." "Oh?" says I. "Does the game like other games of the same sex?" (I used to say that to Blue Lake kids all the time- it really teed them off and it was great to watch) "Not gay," he says. "G-H-A-Y, ghay. It means stupid, uncool."

I offered my opinion that the term, then, was expressing an ironic otomotopeiac quality (in a literary sense) by being very uncool and stupid itself.

Because the pronunciation remains the same, what listener would be able to discern the vague differences in intent? And hasn't "that's gay," in the parlance of our times, evolved to convey this precise meaning? There are people that can argue with me til they're blue in the face that words that previously were associated with a negative stereotype have since become divorced from these images and are acceptable, but I just don't buy it. A man called a "pussy" is still being associated with supposed feminine weakness and something being gay still underlies societal homophobia. The slandered group in particular, of course, can reclaim the term but with a positive spin (i.e. "Davis, you're one cuntastic pussy! Bitch!").

So by saying, "no, I meant to use 'ghay' because then no one can accuse me of being homophobic because I really have nothing against gay people, really, I just don't know any/personally think it's gross/have been hounded to death by the PC police and am tired of crying myself to sleep at night" one is still participating in stereotypical language. A difference in spelling that does not affect pronunciation is just another way of refusing to change in the face of ignorance and hatred.

Anyway, I looked it up. Hrmm. Case in point.

And yes, I know that I am a hypocrite. I say, "that's dumb!" all the time but I certainly don't mean that the object or concept in question is unable to speak. And no, not all things that are "cool" are actually cold or even lukewarm. If I have been known to use the charming phrase "riding the short bus" and anyone has been offended, I apologize. I promise to stop- right after I say it and giggle a few more times.

All y'all, really, are such fabulous cunts.