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Turned Out Nice Again

Gay? Stonewall Claims Word Stolen

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Monday's Child

Monday's child is fair of face

Tuesday's child is full of grace,

Wednesday's child is full of woe,

Thursday's child has far to go,

Friday's child is loving and giving,

Saturday's child works hard for a living,

But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day

Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

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I was born on a Sunday, that explains my life of perpetual solitude, I've been barking up the wrong tree.

Although to quote Bernard Manning, 'I'd of turned gay years ago but I couldn't stand being ignored by blokes as well as women'

:rolleyes:

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Guest eight

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Is that Erik Estrada? Thinking back, CHiPs was pretty homo-erotic. Although I don't think that registered on me as a five year old. I just liked the car crashes.

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There is a long history of words being changed to try and change impressions, only for that word to adopt the (negative) connotations of what it was replacing.

Attempts to teach pre-teens not to use negative archetypes are comically counter-productive. I remember when "Durrr Joeeeeyyyyyy!" was added to the lexicon of playground insults. It persisted as an insult for years, and was used by kids much too young to even remember the source.

In 1981, the last year of his life, Joey Deacon was featured on the children's magazine programme Blue Peter for the International Year of the Disabled. He was presented as an example of a man who achieved a lot in spite of his disabilities. Despite the sensitive way in which Blue Peter covered his life, the impact was not as intended. The sights and sounds of Deacon's distinctive speech and movements had a lasting impact on young viewers, who quickly learned to imitate them. His name and mannerisms quickly became a label of ridicule in school playgrounds across the country.[

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I'm awaiting with interest the first example of a word which started out as innocent (like 'queer') then became insulting, and then got 'claimed back' by the people it was used to insult, reverting to being insulting again.

Has this ever happened?

There are also weird words like 'n1gger' which are acceptable when used by, er, those people, but is considered offensive if used by whites.

Political correctness is all very confusing.

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I remember getting utterly screamed at primarily school for calling a kid with mild cerebral palsy a 'spazmo' when he hit me.

I had no idea was a spazmo even was.

I can't help thinking that a campaign to get children to stop using a word as an insult might not spectacularly backfire, but then well-meaning adults (whose also have to justify their salaries) don't often stop to think about that.

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Gay as in effeminate? Not necessarily an insult. Just a statement of fact.

Gay as in homosexual - not necessarily an insult either. Likewise - just a statement of fact, it's a lot easier to say than "homosexual".

Kenneth Williams and Graham Norton were/are gay in both senses and there's no insult there.

A friend's noddy little car is "gay". At least for him it is, as he's huge and it's a silly tiny little effeminate looking car.

I think Stonewall have a point. It's all about the context.

And I remember the "Joey Deacon" thing very well. And the look on a teacher's face when she saw a group of maybe six year olds using it in an offensive context to indicate stupidity. But then there's peer group behaviour to think about. The kids never really did think fully about it, it was just a turn of phrase of its time. Were Joey to have been their uncle they might have thought about it a bit more.

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Interesting with the cars thing. I would admit to thinking of certain models of car as gay even if I wouldn't say it out loud. I guess with that kind of thing there's undertones of seeing it as an undesirable thing.

Equally though, once upon a time, people would have said/thought 'girls car' so there's a bit of an element that it's therefore seen as normalised/legitimate distinct sexuality these days.

Edit to add: I guess Stonewall probably faces severe relevance issues as really most of the work that requires activism/militancy seems to have been done - also is their logo a starfish? :blink:

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The insulting word can be anything or any combination of sound – it's the context and emphasis that matter. Consider this example of the figure of speech that the grammarians call diophora.

“ Denis Macshane is a politician – what better or truer word can I say than politician...”

The first occurrence of "politician" is neutral – the second is identical in form, but it is emphasized and is an insult.

Legislate or lecture as much as you want – people will always find a way to make what was once a simple description into an insulting word or phrase.

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Monday's Child

Monday's child is fair of face

Tuesday's child is full of grace,

Wednesday's child is full of woe,

Thursday's child has far to go,

Friday's child is loving and giving,

Saturday's child works hard for a living,

But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day

Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

And works hard for a living as well, if the child happens to be a (religious) Jew or Seventh-day Adventist!

Attempts to teach pre-teens not to use negative archetypes are comically counter-productive. I remember when "Durrr Joeeeeyyyyyy!" was added to the lexicon of playground insults. It persisted as an insult for years' date=' and was used by kids much too young to even remember the source.[/quote']

Whoever at the BBC came up with the idea of featuring Deacon on a children's TV programme must still be dealing with the regret over that to this day. That episode has to one of the most widespread and long-lasting examples of an attempt at propaganda (in this case, promoting a positive attitude to disabled people) failing. I was an eight-year old primary school pupil at the time of those broadcasts, and my peers were still making un-PC references to Joey Deacon in sixth form a decade later.

* there is an example of that precise usage in the movie "The Big Sleep" (1946)

Ironic, given that this is one of very few Hollywood movies from that period to include a gay (in the modern sense of the usage) couple - the murdered bookshop owner and his leather-jacketed boyfriend/hitman. Needless to say, the 'gayness' of those characters is toned down a lot from their portrayal in the book, but it's still noticeable.

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I'm awaiting with interest the first example of a word which started out as innocent (like 'queer') then became insulting, and then got 'claimed back' by the people it was used to insult, reverting to being insulting again.

Has this ever happened?

There are also weird words like 'n1gger' which are acceptable when used by, er, those people, but is considered offensive if used by whites.

Political correctness is all very confusing.

Goth/gothic has changed in meaning, and back and forth in negative connotations, over the last 2000 years.

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