That’s so ‘gay’

Thats so gay

by Kate Anderson

“Gay'”is a friendly term for “homosexual” or more anciently, “gleeful.” That’s the original intention of the word. Now it’s the super ambiguous description of anything unpleasant to lazy and insensitive people who are too busy to find a more fitting word.

Although less commonly now, “Jewish” played a large vernacular role to describe not just one of the oldest religions of the world, but a situation in which one is not benefiting. Funny how these words can have so many random and casual purposes.

It’s so common that we, even as educated students, don’t hesitate to accept these terms in social speech. Examples I’ve heard on campus:

“This paper’s ten pages long and its due Monday…How gay.”

“Doorman wouldn’t let me in to ‘The Zoo’ because I’m only 19. Such a gay law.”

“My parents are being so gay.”

“Western civ. is gay.”

So how can a paper, a law, two (most likely) straight parents and a college-level western civilization course be gay?” Just curious. And the context could make anyone assume that they were not describing these subjects as gleeful. They were insinuating that these subjects are romantically attractive to members of the same gender. Although in three out of four of these cases a gender doesn’t exist. That’s a small mystery.

The word has come a long way and it’s now so easy to negatively describe things without thinking too hard. That’s great news for the future of lazy speech. One problem: it’s offensive in any way you contort it.

“Gay” means either happy or homosexual, not something that sucks (which isn’t a much more intelligent word but at least it doesn’t show prejudice). Would those who play sports be offended if unintelligible things were commonly described as “athletic?” I would.

It’s derogatory and obviously not a compliment to the subject being described. Gay people exist in case we haven’t noticed. Just because we go to a school where most of us are a prototype of heterosexuality, we still need to be aware of our words and actions-wherever we are.

It’s not our privilege to offend a class of people because we’re simply too lazy to find the word we’re looking for. We should feel like idiots for incorrectly using a word so assuredly.

It doesn’t prove that we’re tough or callous (or whatever image we’re trying to project) when we use such prejudiced language-it just detracts from our mental capacity and the intelligence of everyone who hears us speak.