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Subject: Re: Three random questions for a Monday morning
Author: Caroline   (Authenticated as CarolineCarolina)
Date: January 21, 2013 at 9:39:06 AM
Reply to: Three random questions for a Monday morning by Billina
1. When someone else is talking, do you ever unintentionally mimic their facial expressions? I do this all the time, and I'm wondering if anyone else does.

Not that I know of.

2. Do you think the definition of the word "gay" is changing, or do you think it still means ONE thing, and that it shouldn't be used by people to describe something weak or lame? I work with someone who uses it that way, and we got into a mini-debate over it. WDYT? What are your thoughts on words changing meaning in general?

I think you should know your audience. I'm gay and I could give two shits less if someone says "that's gay" in front of me. But then, my gayness doesn't really contribute that much to the way I perceive myself. For some people, being gay is so wrapped up in identity that hearing "that's gay" would surely sting. So, as usual, I think people should avoid being assholes as much as possible, and in this case, probably avoid using the expression around those it's likely to hurt.

ETA: I don't think the "language is ever-changing" explanation/excuse works well for this, though, because people who are using "gay" and equating it with something sucky are redefining a word that is already used in reference to a marginalized community. The only times I think it's okay to do this with a word is, for example, the way the GLBTQ community as reclaimed "queer," a word originally used to marginalize but now used to include. So using "gay" to mean effeminate or lame or whatever is analogous to using "Jew" to mean cheap or stingy. So, this happens, and it doesn't offend me overly much, but it's still a gross practice and a linguistic explanation of shifting meanings doesn't excuse anything at all.

3. What time is it where you live?

11:38 am

This message was edited by the author on January 21, 2013 at 11:48:41 AM

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