bad word?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Nov 2, 2022.

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  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Recent episode of Law and Order revolved around the use of 'f...' (fairy) to describe a male homosexual. The speaker was blackmailed and the blackmailer was murdered. What puzzles me is that 'fairy' is bad, but 'gay' is OK?
     
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Is there a question?
    And are you being serious???
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Well, because the gay community does not take offense to the use of 'gay', and freely use it themselves.

    Contrarily, 'fairy' is a term often applied to the gay community by haters as a disparagement.


    As with another loosely-related thread, if I knew you well enough, I could surely come up with a term for you that is disparaging and call you that, instead of the term 'Mathman' you have asked to be called by. you would probably take offense if I kept calling you by the name I chose. If only because you know the connotations in my use of it.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe I suggest "onmethman"?
     
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  8. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    fairy is used as a pejorative and has been for decades.
    its meaning is
    weak idiot coward
     
  9. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    As if we didn't know

    "Hence, figurative adjective use in reference to lightness, fineness, delicacy. Slang meaning "effeminate male homosexual" is recorded by 1895."
    https://www.etymonline.com/word/fairy

    to the OP How long is a piece of string?
    Language evolves. When I was at school "gay" meant "happy" ,I thought.

    "Fairy" was the same as "Queer" (which has also changed so I don't even know what it means now.)
     
  10. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    In 1930s movies it was common enough to hear somebody say, "I'm feeling gay tonight," or "Let's be gay tonight."
     
  11. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    It can be hard to keep up with this sort of thing. Sometimes former terms of disapproval get taken up with gusto by the community that was originally disparaged. "Queer" for instance meant what we now call gay, back in the 1970s. Yet queer is now used with approval to denote some other form of non-standard sexual interaction - though I really can't be bothered to find out what exactly.

    There must be hundreds of terms for male homosexuals, some now considered OK, some not. Personal favourites are "one who bowls from the pavilion end" and Matthew Parris's term "badger botherer" (arsing from a notorious incident involving a bisexual Welsh MP). Parris is himself gay so he gets more licence than most.
     
  13. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    a gay agenda
    blame the fairys, they are always getting up to mischief.
     
  14. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    A possible error on my part, the 'f' word was never said. I had assumed 'fairy', but it could have been 'faggot'.
     
  15. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Are you just acting the maggot,mouthman?
    You just faggot?

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  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I wondered about what you meant.

    Either way though, the same explanation applies.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Holy Jeez man, you're really trusting in Poe's Law!
     
  18. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed. It just popped out
    Faggot/forgot

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  19. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    There was a fast food trailer near where I lived in London and positioned just across the road from a busy pub

    The trailer sold faggots

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  20. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Or it could be some kind of an informal introduction in a social gathering "(John)Faggit ,meet Ms.Ball"
     
  21. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    It's an expression that apparently hasn't been "endearingly claimed and refurbished" from its negative roots in certain contexts. In contrast to, say, rapster and gang-culture utilization of N word derivations. Or the gay community's and academia's own renovation of the once demeaning Q-term.

    Be wary of "harmful words and safe-speech" lists that aren't updated, since even language that was approved and advocated as correct a few years ago can be re-evaluated as the opposite later on. (Also take into account your own sex, income, and whether or not your ethnicity is or isn't of privileged status, too, with respect to your use of GoodSpeak and BadSpeak vocabularies.)

    Brandeis University students maintained an updated list here (hopefully that's still the case):

    https://sites.google.com/brandeis.edu/parcsuggestedlanguagelist/categories

    _
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2022
  22. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    Black privilege
    all those professional sports players who are millionaires.
     
  23. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    My guess is that just about all of them have stories about being pulled over by a white cop who didn't recognize them.

    "Where did you steal that Ferrari, boy?"

    "You play for WHAT Denver Broncos?"
     
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