Too much ‘gay’

By Erin Shumlich

The word ‘gay’ is primarily used as a noun or adjective to describe a homosexual person. The word was used as early as 1637, originally meaning carefree, happy and bright. By the end of the 20th century, the meaning of the word shifted in lieu of a cultural attitude in North America to become derisive. Today the term is often used derogatorily to describe a terrible or stupid situation, as in, “that’s so gay.”

Easy communication through the sphere of social media proliferates improper English and has embedded the use of the word ‘gay’ into everyday speech. The English Wikipedia blackout in protest of sopa and pipa on Jan. 19 caused outrage in the Twitter community– the most common adjective used to project that frustration was, of course, ‘gay.’ Not only did this show ignorance of the situation, more importantly, it showed complete obtuseness.

The continual use of ‘gay’ as a calumnious adjective is a disgrace and asynchronous in the year 2012 when there is no place for such a use. Use your university-‘educated’ brain to dig into the depths of the English language and find another adjective to voice your frustrations.

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