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#19044 - 02/20/01 08:56 PM Re: Gay  
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Bobyoungbalt Offline
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Re "Queer"
This is not a recent phenomenon. A good many years ago (well, 43 or 44 to be more exact) my mother made friends with a woman she met at work who was an English war bride. She and her husband came to dinner and we found that she had so many strange prejudices about food that there was scarcely anything on the table she could, or would, eat. She started to explain this by saying, "Well, I know I'm awfully queer ..." but never got to finish because my younger siblings all exploded in laughter.


#19045 - 02/21/01 12:08 AM Queer  
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Father Steve Offline
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One of my chums in Lincolnshire reacts to the news that someone has done something remarkably odd by saying "There's not so queer as folk." I think this to be a Cornish expression, but I'm uncertain. It conveys the sense wonderfully.



#19046 - 02/21/01 09:57 AM Re: Queer Folk  
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I claim the expression, "There's nowt so queer as folk," for Northern England. Almost certainly Yorkshire, although these days you will hear it in Lancashire as well/ Only among the older denizens, of course. The modern meaning of "queer" is too engrained amonst the younger people for the expression to be usable amongst them. (Also, as it's used by older people, it's "not cool")

Incidentally, I have noticed an upsurge in the use of "queer" to denote homosexuality, after it was relegated to non-PC language and replaced by "Gay." Many of my homosexual friends and acquaintances use it about themselves, these days.
My guess (for what it's worth) is that "Gay" has achieved a pejorative connotation, (as will any word that describes any phenomenon that society in general finds hard to understand and harder to accept) and the homosexual community is trying to rehabilitate "queer" so that it no longer does have that sort of negative association.


#19047 - 02/21/01 12:55 PM Re: Queer  
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jmh Offline
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>"There's nowt so queer as folk,"

I was only thinking of this today. A very popular Northern expression.

Similarly I agree about "Queer" being re-claimed and "Gay" being out of fashion. I've noticed that "You are gay" (and I don't think they mean cheerful) is becoming a popular playground term of abuse here, so perhaps that is one of the reasons for the change.


#19048 - 02/21/01 02:40 PM Re: Queer  
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I too wish the word "gay" had not been dragged into the mud.I have known some people named Gay who were ridiculed when the change happened.I feel compassion for the unfortunates who have "a problem with sexual identification" and deplore the persecution of them which has destroyed so many gifted individuals. But I also deplore their new found aggressiveness.


#19049 - 02/21/01 02:42 PM Re: Queer Folk  
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Fiberbabe Offline
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>My guess (for what it's worth) is that "Gay" has achieved a pejorative connotation, (as will any word that describes any phenomenon that society in general finds hard to understand and harder to accept) and the homosexual community is trying to rehabilitate "queer" so that it no longer does have that sort of negative association.

Well, if I may speak to that as someone who has spent the majority of my career as the token hetero in the theatre... you wouldn't believe what they call themselves (no divisiveness intended by the use of the third person plural). Gay, queer, homo, fag, and far more indelicate things than I'd care to detail in this forum! The question of pejorative seems, as usual, more tied to the inclinations/sympathies of whoever is doing the talking... While I can get away with using said words in playful banter with my gay friends, Jerry Falwell is unlikely to reap the same benefit of the doubt.


#19050 - 02/21/01 03:09 PM Re: Kids vs. children  
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This has been one of my projects over the last several many years. The word children is almost extinct in common English usage. From State of the Union speeches to radio interviews of education professionals the ratio of kids to children is about 100 to 1.


#19051 - 02/21/01 03:14 PM Re: Kids vs. children  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
>This has been one of my projects... the ratio of kids to children is about 100 to 1.

just curious... your project is to count? or to inveigh against?


#19052 - 02/21/01 03:52 PM Re: Queer Folk  
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jmh Offline
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>The question of pejorative seems, as usual, more tied to the inclinations/sympathies of whoever is doing the talking...

Yes, I've often been the only xxx amongst a group of yyy, female/male, white/black, able-bodied/disabled, heterosexual/homosexual - I've learnt to be very, very careful with some of the words I've come across. In most instances words which are OK within a group are strictly not OK if you are not part of the group.


#19053 - 02/21/01 04:31 PM Re: Kids vs. children  
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Now, tsuwm, (your project is to count? or to inveigh against?) when have you known me to inveigh against? I, too, grew up learning that kids is not acceptable in formal contexts. This, just from a survey of common usage, seems no longer to be the case.

My project is noticing things like this.




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