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Saturday, February 26, 2011

English is "gay"

I wonder how non-native English speakers really can learn the language.  English, as a language, is so full of rules and situational definitions for words that I have no clue how someone can learn this stuff.

Case in point, the word "gay", which can mean three different things, depending on the context (well more like two and a half things, but more on that in a moment).

Gay, in a more traditional definition, means "happy".
Use:  We had a gay time while visiting Jim Thorpe in January.
(I actually did, by the way.)

Gay, in a more social definition, refers to someone being a homosexual.
Use:  I support Gay rights.
(I actually do, by the way, stridently.  I say live and let live.)

Gay, in probably the newest definitional use, means "bad"
Use:  Dad, your shirt is so gay.
( I have actually heard this sentence before, repeatedly, from my youngest daugher.)

Note that the third use, "bad", originally was a derivation of the second use, as being homosexual was considered to be "bad". However what's interesting is that many younger folks these days who actually have no problem with homosexuality as a concept or practice (and who readily acknowledge homosexual friends) will use the word to mean "bad".  My three daughters are a case in point.  To me, that creates basically a third definition for gay.

English is so gay.

PS:  You gotta just laugh sometimes folks, as not everything should be taken so seriously.  Oh, and I do have a salmon (or as I call it "aggressive pink") colored polo shirt.

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