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Miscellany, Inc. => Ensign First Class Blather => Topic started by: arithar on May 04, 2004, 08:59:40 AM

Title: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: arithar on May 04, 2004, 08:59:40 AM
I recently got this game (for $8 mind you) and am steadily working my way through it. Since we're discussing PST, I thought it appropriate to discuss NWN as well. I like it (the part I've played so far). THere are several things I hate about it.
1) Can't see my "henchman"'s inventory.
2) 3d is gay!
3) 3d is gay!!
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: NiGHTMARE on May 04, 2004, 10:27:55 AM
I take it by "gay" you mean "bad"? If so, why? There's nothing wrong with being gay; if it's who you are, then it's who you are.  Anyway:

Bad 3D = bad
Good 3D = better than anything 2D could achieve in its wildest dreams

NWN = bad 3D + bad gamepay + bad storyline + extremely limited party NPCs = rubbish

BTW, what most people seem to forget is that the creatures and areas in the IE games (and indeed many other 2D games) started out life as 3D, and then got converted to 2D.  So if you like the IE graphics, 3D clearly isn't "gay".
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 04, 2004, 11:56:37 AM
I take it by "gay" you mean "bad"? If so, why?
Thank you.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: jester on May 04, 2004, 02:06:16 PM
I have yet to be impressed by a realtime rendered game in contrast to a prerendered. I hate FPS (as an example) with a passion, but as soon as all the objects react to explosions, I will bow down to the programmers and still despise the games. :) Sim is absolutely right about the failed marketing gag behind NWN. I will only pick up a copy, if domi announces her finished mod. :)

@ gay: Arithar may be older than 45, because my English teacher in grammar school remembered that he had been thaught that gay means merry. At least in Britain. Hence this was a very pro 3d statement.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: neriana on May 04, 2004, 03:14:18 PM
Lush, evocative graphics are good. 3D and 2D games can both accomplish this. I don't think NWN's OC did, but I'm more impressed with SoU. Still, when I compare its graphics with, say, the Temple of Lathander in BG2, I am less impressed. Maybe it's easier to make the kind of illustrative, detailed graphics I like in 2D.

By the way, using "gay" as an insult is like using "brunette" as an insult. But worse.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Cybersquirt on May 05, 2004, 08:22:00 AM
Anyone seen Bioware's current in-progress RPG, Jade Empires? It looks simply stunning - especially considering they're limited to the X-Box's now somewhat out-of-date hardware ;).
Along with games that rely on the modding community to bring their games up to par "sucking", companies that build a PC fan base and swith to another platform "suck" MORE!

@ 'gay' - Ah yes, even my 14 year old nephew doesn't use that tired piece of slang anymore.  :-X
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Quitch on May 05, 2004, 09:55:23 AM
I think everyone needs to get over themselves here.  Gay is sometimes used in that context, like it or not, and large amounts of patronising "yes, I'm feeling happy thank you" isn't going to change anything.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 05, 2004, 09:56:30 AM
no, but thankfully where I live it's been replaced with 'pants'
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 05, 2004, 10:33:03 AM
I think everyone needs to get over themselves here.  Gay is sometimes used in that context, like it or not, and large amounts of patronising "yes, I'm feeling happy thank you" isn't going to change anything.
That's moronic.  It's abundantly obvious that people are more likely to use "gay" to mean "stupid" without thinking about it if no one ever points out that this is inappropriate.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Quitch on May 05, 2004, 10:36:04 AM
Why would it be inappropriate?  The meaning of each word is extremely fluid and varies from year to year, person to person.  To come down in this fashion and pretend otherwise is the height of pretension.  I hope we're not going to start suggesting that it's okay to change the word gay from its original meaning to one thing, but that to use it in another context is "inappropriate".  That the word in this context matches the word in another context is meaningless in the extreme.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 05, 2004, 10:42:17 AM
I would tend to agree that the use of the word to mean "bad" has minimal association with homosexuality. The English language has many words with multiple meanings, many due to widespread colloquialism. I think it's come long past the point where calling something "gay" makes any suggestion about the speaker's stance on homosexuality. Incidentally, I've never seen a homosexual person claim that they find it offensive.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: NiGHTMARE on May 05, 2004, 12:02:23 PM
To be fair to Bioware, they originally seemed to be trying to market NWN as more a tool than a game - it was Interplay who placed far too much emphasis on the game part.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: neriana on May 05, 2004, 02:58:30 PM
I think everyone needs to get over themselves here.  Gay is sometimes used in that context, like it or not, and large amounts of patronising "yes, I'm feeling happy thank you" isn't going to change anything.
That's moronic.  It's abundantly obvious that people are more likely to use "gay" to mean "stupid" without thinking about it if no one ever points out that this is inappropriate.

Yes it is. What if people said "That's so black"? Well then black people should just suck it up, like it or not. The idea that words have absolutely no meaning is just plain silly as well. "Oh, it's the context." Well this context uses "gay" as a synonym for "bad". Gee, why would anyone find that insulting?

I know PLENTY of homosexual people who find "gay" as an insult insulting. I'm astonished that any homosexual person would actually say anything different; but then, Karen Hughes thinks the Bush administration is great for women. Being part of a group doesn't mean you're necessarily representative of that group.

The idea that "gay" as an insult is not related to homosexuality makes minimal, if any, sense. Any word cannot mean anything, unless you're Humpty Dumpty.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 05, 2004, 04:10:30 PM
Yes it is. What if people said "That's so black"? Well then black people should just suck it up, like it or not. The idea that words have absolutely no meaning is just plain silly as well. "Oh, it's the context." Well this context uses "gay" as a synonym for "bad". Gee, why would anyone find that insulting?
Coincidentally, "black" is also used as a synonym for "impure", "evil", and so on. Calling someone "black-hearted" is hardly a racist comment...
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: neriana on May 05, 2004, 10:31:42 PM
Yes it is. What if people said "That's so black"? Well then black people should just suck it up, like it or not. The idea that words have absolutely no meaning is just plain silly as well. "Oh, it's the context." Well this context uses "gay" as a synonym for "bad". Gee, why would anyone find that insulting?
Coincidentally, "black" is also used as a synonym for "impure", "evil", and so on. Calling someone "black-hearted" is hardly a racist comment...

Using "black-skinned" as an insult IS a racist comment.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 06, 2004, 01:53:10 AM
Yes it is. What if people said "That's so black"? Well then black people should just suck it up, like it or not. The idea that words have absolutely no meaning is just plain silly as well. "Oh, it's the context." Well this context uses "gay" as a synonym for "bad". Gee, why would anyone find that insulting?
Coincidentally, "black" is also used as a synonym for "impure", "evil", and so on. Calling someone "black-hearted" is hardly a racist comment...

Using "black-skinned" as an insult IS a racist comment.
So its significance depends on how you're using it. Thanks. :)
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 06, 2004, 01:59:25 AM
Using "black-skinned" as an insult IS a racist comment.

fair enough, but what kind of random would use that as an insult anyway?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 06, 2004, 02:03:37 AM
Yes it is. What if people said "That's so black"? Well then black people should just suck it up, like it or not. The idea that words have absolutely no meaning is just plain silly as well. "Oh, it's the context." Well this context uses "gay" as a synonym for "bad". Gee, why would anyone find that insulting?
Coincidentally, "black" is also used as a synonym for "impure", "evil", and so on. Calling someone "black-hearted" is hardly a racist comment...

Using "black-skinned" as an insult IS a racist comment.
So its significance depends on how you're using it. Thanks. :)
As she said previously and is still quoted in your post, "This context uses 'gay' as a synonym for 'bad.'  Gee, why would anyone find that insulting?"

So I'm at a loss.  What are you thanking her for, now?

Btw--
Quote
Coincidentally, "black" is also used as a synonym for "impure", "evil", and so on.
Do you really believe that's a coincidence?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Caswallon on May 06, 2004, 05:35:26 AM
Quote
Coincidentally, "black" is also used as a synonym for "impure", "evil", and so on.
Do you really believe that's a coincidence?
Hmm... do you believe the association of "black" with "darkness" and "evil" has something to do with skin colour?  ???
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Cybersquirt on May 06, 2004, 06:08:16 AM
Oh my god.. are a few of you really that niave?  My guess is that you're just being beligerant.  The context of that word is unmistakable.  Still, I would agree that patronizing accomplishes nothing.

Equating gay with stupid is offensive in the same way white people using (I'll say it, so there's no confusion) nigger in ANY context is offensive - is that clear enough for you?  It's also in how the term was coined, and I never use that word for that reason; if black people want to calling themselves that, fine, but I was taught differently - the same way I taught my nephew that using gay in that context was equally offensive and derogatory.

black being associated with evil only came about, when?  We see it when Hollywood started rolling the movies out.. is it in print anywhere?  Villians in black?  When was the term black-hearted coined?

Gosh, maybe the black folks had it all wrong and were taking themselves too seriously.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: NiGHTMARE on May 06, 2004, 07:53:04 AM
I'm pretty sure black being associated with evil has been around since before white people even knew black people existed.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: jester on May 06, 2004, 08:03:55 AM
Gsus, as much as I enjoy off-topicness, I think some GM should put a lid on this babble. This is not getting anywhere. :(
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Quitch on May 06, 2004, 09:21:57 AM
Quote
Yes it is. What if people said "That's so black"? Well then black people should just suck it up, like it or not. The idea that words have absolutely no meaning is just plain silly as well. "Oh, it's the context." Well this context uses "gay" as a synonym for "bad". Gee, why would anyone find that insulting?

But it isn't so I really don't care.

Quote
I know PLENTY of homosexual people who find "gay" as an insult insulting. I'm astonished that any homosexual person would actually say anything different; but then, Karen Hughes thinks the Bush administration is great for women. Being part of a group doesn't mean you're necessarily representative of that group.

And I'm sure plenty of gay people don't care.  Just because some people dislike something is no reason in itself to not do it.

Quote
Equating gay with stupid is offensive in the same way white people

True, only if people meant it to mean homosexual.  They don't, so it isn't.  Gay means stupid, pure and simple.  The matching spelling is irrelevant since words are definition nothing more.  If I call someone gay does that mean I'm saying they're always happy simply because the spelling happens to match?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 06, 2004, 09:55:34 AM
As she said previously and is still quoted in your post, "This context uses 'gay' as a synonym for 'bad.'  Gee, why would anyone find that insulting?"
...and gay is also a synonym for "happy", "merry", and so on. So what? We're not calling gay people happy every time we use it.

But okay, let's look at what I'm saying:

Black is often synonymous with or representative of evil. This is not offensive in this context, although calling someone black MAY be a derogatory term.
Hence, why should using gay always be considered as insulting? Fine, it can be used offensively, but in the same way, it doesn't always have to be.

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Do you really believe that's a coincidence?
No, but if using "black" to mean something bad isn't offensive, why should using "gay" in a similar way be?

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Oh my god.. are a few of you really that niave?
What you call naivity, I call open-mindedness. :)

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nigger in ANY context is offensive
And why is it offensive? Because of the way it's tended to be used, rather than the meaning of the word itself. But it's a poor analogy because "gay" has various usages which say nothing about sexual views.

Quote
Gsus, as much as I enjoy off-topicness, I think some GM should put a lid on this babble. This is not getting anywhere.
I'd like to split it out of this thread and get back to discussing NWN, but I'd probably end up deleting it by accident or something.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 06, 2004, 10:20:42 AM
nigger in ANY context is offensive - is that clear enough for you? 

actually, I think you will find that nigger is a derivative of the old english word niggered, meaning black or stained.  It was not a derogatory term for a black person, nor an insult of any kind.  People in the 19th/20th Centuries derived the word nigger from it as a term for black people.  Originally it was just an everyday adjective, whose use can be observed in many texts including Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'.  Languages evolve and contexts change, so any word can be given multitudes of meanings.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: jester on May 06, 2004, 12:21:53 PM
Yes, and you might just try out some of your good old English words on the niggaz in your hood and you will be very lucky to get away with the famous salute or have a lively discussion about how much they appreciate you classical education. :P

If you do not state a specific context you might want to consider that those who used it here are prob roughly the same age and the same cultural background.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 06, 2004, 01:06:24 PM
Hence, why should using gay always be considered as insulting?
Did someone, at some point, say or imply that using gay should always be considered as insulting?  Noo...using gay as an insult is insulting.

If you read nineteenth-century American literature, you'll see that it was fairly common practice to refer to negative qualities as "womanish," quite casually.  Just like the gay people you know who don't object to "gay" being used to mean "stupid," the female characters in that literature don't seem particularly distressed or surprised by this--by other insults, yes; by the general acceptance that of course everyone knows "womanish" means weak and stupid, no.  Nothing offensive there, right?  It's not a big improvment that that kind of thing isn't tolerated today, right?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 06, 2004, 01:09:38 PM
Yes, and you might just try out some of your good old English words on the niggaz in your hood and you will be very lucky to get away with the famous salute or have a lively discussion about how much they appreciate you classical education. :P

If you do not state a specific context you might want to consider that those who used it here are prob roughly the same age and the same cultural background.

the point I was trying to make is that a word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such.  How about we all grow up and see it as what it is: just a word!
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Hendryk on May 06, 2004, 01:09:43 PM
Is it purely coincidence that the Neverwinter Nights thread has evolved into an extended debate about derogation?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 06, 2004, 01:16:06 PM
the point I was trying to make is that a word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such.
That would mean it's impossible to insult anyone, ever.

So if someone were to call you a list of terms that suggested low intelligence, ugliness and sexual promiscuity, you would not be offended?  After all, "A word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such."  I'd give an example of such an "inoffensive" term, but then you might feel flamed by me, and I don't want that.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 06, 2004, 01:21:19 PM
I think maybe I'm just too easy going.  People can call me what they want.  If someone wants to call me a moronic, trout-faced slag then fair enough.  It's probably true on some level ;)

Quote
That would mean it's impossible to insult anyone, ever.
I meant it's the context and tone behind the word that makes it offensive.  A word alone isn't.  I realise it didn't make much sense before, but I'm tired :)
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 06, 2004, 01:23:35 PM
Did someone, at some point, say or imply that using gay should always be considered as insulting?  Noo...using gay as an insult is insulting.
I'm fairly sure this whole discussion is over whether it's an insult to homosexuals or not. I'm saying it isn't. And as much as you fancy arguing that it insults the game, I don't really think that has a lot of bearing here, since it's clear nobody's implying that NWN is bad because it is homosexual.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 06, 2004, 01:24:54 PM
Quote
I don't really think that has a lot of bearing here, since it's clear nobody's implying that NWN is bad because it is homosexual.

I was under the impression that inanimate objects were fairly asexual anyway
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: jester on May 06, 2004, 01:25:51 PM
A word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such

Try walking up to an Englishman (preferably in NY) and say 'You c**t!'. His proper reaction would be to say that you misjudged him as he is male and, although he is sure you just use that word as pars pro toto, he would prefer a less descriptive term.

IRL chances are you just picked a fight. ;)

In theoretical discussions words can have very different meanings, especially between social groups where slang is very often used to define the groups and derogatory terms are used to bond that group. This is strictly limited to the group and the consent of its members. So saying that any term colloquially associated as negative can have other meanings too is naive at best.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 06, 2004, 01:25:55 PM
I was under the impression that inanimate objects were fairly asexual anyway
Insert smutty joke here. :)
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 06, 2004, 01:30:37 PM
Did someone, at some point, say or imply that using gay should always be considered as insulting?  Noo...using gay as an insult is insulting.
I'm fairly sure this whole discussion is over whether it's an insult to homosexuals or not.
Then I'd suggest you reread the earlier messages.  The whole discussion is over whether using "gay" casually as an insult is an insult to homosexuals.  Not over whether using the term "gay" is insulting if it's not used as an insult.
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I'm saying it isn't.
Yes, that is quite clear.
Quote
And as much as you fancy arguing that it insults the game,
Is that something I said?  Or even relevant?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 06, 2004, 01:32:21 PM
Quote
And as much as you fancy arguing that it insults the game,
Is that something I said?  Or even relevant?

I think relevance went out the window a long time ago
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 06, 2004, 01:38:14 PM
Then I'd suggest you reread the earlier messages.  The whole discussion is over whether using "gay" casually as an insult is an insult to homosexuals.  Not over whether using the term "gay" is insulting if it's not used as an insult.
I'm fairly confident my short term memory is working okay. I do not think that the casual use of gay is an insult to...anything. While your statement about using gay as an insult being insulting is true, this isn't addressed.

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Is that something I said?  Or even relevant?
Yes, because I want to know to whom calling a game "gay" (note again that there is no suggestion that it is homosexual) should be considered insulting. Because if I'm not suggesting any connection with homosexuality, why should homosexual people be offended?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 06, 2004, 01:38:41 PM
Slut.
Whore.
Bastard.
Prick.
Fuckface Rodriguez.

No offense implied, anyone.  :D

[size=20]NO PUBES.[/size]
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 06, 2004, 01:45:27 PM
While your statement about using gay as an insult being insulting is true, this isn't addressed.
So you think, as Jester jokingly suggested, that "3d is gay!" was meant to be a compliment to the game?

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Because if I'm not suggesting any connection with homosexuality, why should homosexual people be offended?
Because the connection exists, and "gay" as an insult would not exist without it, whether you think of yourself as "suggesting" it or not.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 06, 2004, 01:52:17 PM
So you think, as Jester jokingly suggested, that "3d is gay!" was meant to be a compliment to the game?
No, but I don't think "insulting" a game is really an issue. Saying the game is bad shouldn't have an impact on this.

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Because the connection exists, and "gay" as an insult would not exist without it, whether you think of yourself as "suggesting" it or not.
I assume "gay" was around meaning "happy" long before "homosexual". But the connection between homosexuality and happiness is never implied when you use it, surely?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: discharger12 on May 06, 2004, 03:28:58 PM
So you think, as Jester jokingly suggested, that "3d is gay!" was meant to be a compliment to the game?
No, but I don't think "insulting" a game is really an issue. Saying the game is bad shouldn't have an impact on this.

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Because the connection exists, and "gay" as an insult would not exist without it, whether you think of yourself as "suggesting" it or not.
I assume "gay" was around meaning "happy" long before "homosexual". But the connection between homosexuality and happiness is never implied when you use it, surely?


It had to have been around long before it meant "homosexual" otherwise people more then likely wouldn't have the name "Gaylord."
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Rusalka on May 06, 2004, 03:57:19 PM
Well, from where I sit using "gay" as a derrogitory term insults some people and others not. So out of respect for those who might find it offensive, I don't use it. I think it's a good policy. ;)
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Galactygon on May 06, 2004, 09:07:59 PM
So this topic's name got chaged, eh? ;) Gay is actually a good word, it means "merry". So when some naiive pre-teen (teens don't use it as much these days) cames up to me and calls me gay, I smile and say thanks; I am one of those people who like to be called as "merry", even if the individual who came up to me meant to insult me.

-Galactygon
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Cybersquirt on May 06, 2004, 09:43:05 PM
(my other posts got lost in the shuffle  :-[)

who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy? ..unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times.  When seen in context it is obvious just what the word means, unless one chooses to be ignorant.

Language is a living thing, there is no doubt; just as new meanings form, old ones fall away.
Gay, in the 19th century, meant happy - N** had an archaic meaning as well and was adopted by the Klan
Gay, in the 20th century, meant happy or homosexual - N** was used by the Klan and the general populace (derogatorially, period)
gay, in the 21st century, means homosexual or stupid. - N** is used derogatorially and by people of color to refer to their friends

who, in the last century, used n***** as anything but a derogatory term?

The difference is the group of people using the word n***** - I still cannot use it.  You don't believe me, go up to a black person you barely know or don't know at all and call them a n**.  Using gay to mean stupid is not as much a condemnation, to me, probably because it's kids that use it - otoh, it's a bit more disturbing for that same reason. 

Consider that fag, gay, and queer, mean roughly the same thing on each side of their meanings.  Similar to n*****, qeeer and fag have been adopted by the gay populace in an attempt to destigmatize the word; gay, in the same fashion, has not been adopted.  Similar to me not using the word n*****, I won't use fag or queer.. nor will I say anything other than stupid or dumb, when I mean stupid or dumb.  An insult is an insult.

Intentionally twisting variations to rely on an old, outlived meaning of a word is, in my opinion, being contentious at least.. belligerent at worst.  And if you ignore how the word was born/formed, you'll not understand why it is offensive.

(well said, Rusalka)

edit: btw, Sim, you're trying to be logical (or contentious, but I choose to believe logical) about this - These things are rarely logical.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 07, 2004, 01:39:43 AM
(my other posts got lost in the shuffle  :-[)

who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy? ..unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times.

how exactly would that be this Century?
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: jester on May 07, 2004, 02:53:01 AM
exactly ;)
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Cybersquirt on May 07, 2004, 03:19:05 AM
who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy? ..unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times.

how exactly would that be this Century?
your attempts to diffuse this situation, or otherwise make light of it, are getting quite irritating.  Are you going to say, next, that you didn't know what I meant?  "Unless you're authoring Elizabethan times, ..."
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Cybersquirt on May 07, 2004, 03:28:28 AM
the point I was trying to make is that a word is only offensive if you choose to see it as such.  How about we all grow up and see it as what it is: just a word!
How 'bout we all grow up and learn some respect?  In society, are we taught to ignore the inappropriate behavior or curtail it?  I think prisons and law answers that question quite nicely.

Words have power, granted it's the power we give them, but they have power.  There's a saying that goes: Walk a mile in someone else's shoes.. then see how much a word some of these words just are not.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Quitch on May 07, 2004, 04:08:49 AM
Is it purely coincidence that the Neverwinter Nights thread has evolved into an extended debate about derogation?

NWN is so dull that this is far more interesting

Quote from: jester
Try walking up to an Englishman (preferably in NY) and say 'You c**t!'. His proper reaction would be to say that you misjudged him as he is male and, although he is sure you just use that word as pars pro toto, he would prefer a less descriptive term.

IRL chances are you just picked a fight.

Uh, right... because every time someone says something rude you start a street brawl.  What planet do you come from?  Chances are they'd looked a bit shocked.

Quote from: Galactygon
So when some naiive pre-teen (teens don't use it as much these days) cames up to me and calls me gay, I smile and say thanks

*cringe*

Quote from: Cybersquirt
who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy? ..unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times.  When seen in context it is obvious just what the word means, unless one chooses to be ignorant.

The very first post in this topic shows that gay does not always, nor exclusively is used to mean, homosexual.

Quote from: Cybersquirt
How 'bout we all grow up and learn some respect?  In society, are we taught to ignore the inappropriate behavior or curtail it? 

In this case, the point is that while you consider this use of the word inappropriate, many others don't, and your views of inappropriate, and what actually is inappropriate, shouldn't be confused.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Cybersquirt on May 07, 2004, 05:31:00 AM
Quote from: Cybersquirt
who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy? ..unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times.  When seen in context it is obvious just what the word means, unless one chooses to be ignorant.
The very first post in this topic shows that gay does not always, nor exclusively is used to mean, homosexual.
Nor did my comment say that it meant homosexual, exclusively - I ask again: who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy (as a common everyday term)?

Quote from: Cybersquirt
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How 'bout we all grow up and learn some respect?  In society, are we taught to ignore the inappropriate behavior or curtail it? 
In this case, the point is that while you consider this use of the word inappropriate, many others don't, and your views of inappropriate, and what actually is inappropriate, shouldn't be confused.
Ah.  So you're saying (from your viewpoint, lest we forget) that equating gay to stupidity is entirely appropriate?  Or are you saying that the 2 have nothing to do with each other and claim ignorance about the slang derivation?  Or are you, as ever, remaining far removed from these trivial matters and claiming some supposed neutral position?

"many" others don't?  I only see a few.  I think I've a healthy sense of morality - heathy enough to be realistic about what is and is not appropriate.  :-*
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: jester on May 07, 2004, 06:56:30 AM
Quitch, you can be a picky c**t. :D I was just trying to illustrate the situation. ;)

Galactygon: Pick a word that really insults you. If you can still pull off that trick, kudos to you.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Alarielle on May 07, 2004, 09:40:34 AM
your attempts to diffuse this situation, or otherwise make light of it, are getting quite irritating.  Are you going to say, next, that you didn't know what I meant?  "Unless you're authoring Elizabethan times, ..."

I sorry if I pissed you off there, but I honestly didn't catch your meaning.  You wrote 'unless you're an author writing in Elizabethan times' and I took that to mean an author writing in the 19th Century, not an author writing about the 19th Century, with 19th Century language.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 07, 2004, 10:36:06 AM
Uh, right... because every time someone says something rude you start a street brawl.  What planet do you come from?  Chances are they'd looked a bit shocked.
Oh, I dunno...

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Nor did my comment say that it meant homosexual, exclusively - I ask again: who, in this century, uses gay to mean happy (as a common everyday term)?
This doesn't mean it's not valid usage. And I've seen plenty of modern literature, especially poetry, that uses it in this sense.
However...you're saying the meaning of the word has changed. So am I.

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So you're saying (from your viewpoint, lest we forget) that equating gay to stupidity is entirely appropriate?
I'd say so, yes. Of course, equating homosexuality to stupidity is not appropriate, but that's a different issue.

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Or are you saying that the 2 have nothing to do with each other and claim ignorance about the slang derivation?
This is the crux of the matter. Firstly, how has the slang derivation actually come about? Not from calling bad things homosexual, presumably, since that makes no sense. But in any case, I maintain that it's progressed long beyond the point where such an origin would have any significance. These days, "gay" can mean "bad".

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Galactygon: Pick a word that really insults you. If you can still pull off that trick, kudos to you.
This made me think, actually. I can pick a word that would really insult me if it was used as an insult addressed to me... let's take "bastard" for example. It's not a nice thing to be called if it's indended to be nasty. Written or spoken in any other context, why should I get offended at it, however?

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edit: btw, Sim, you're trying to be logical (or contentious, but I choose to believe logical) about this - These things are rarely logical.
Well at least arguing over this is more fun than talking about Neverwinter Nights. :)
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: jester on May 07, 2004, 10:54:08 AM
Bastard??? You must be kiddin me, Sim. Is that the meanest you can come up with? :P I am talking about something that makes you take a deep breath and ponder in your head if you really heard what you just heard. I mean most people wouldn't lift their eyes from their beers for 'bastard'.

And the question to Galac was not to come up with a word that he could shrug off, but to have a really insulting one to himself as a person. I don't want to know that word. I just wanted to point out that you can call me many things and everything that is offensive but does not resonate within me and I couldn't care less. So it is not a good example to use that word which you don't mind being told and say: Hey it can't be that bad. See, I do not even twitch.

The NWN thread never made it to the second page that is really telling something....
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 07, 2004, 11:02:35 AM
Bastard??? You must be kiddin me, Sim. Is that the meanest you can come up with? :P I am talking about something that makes you take a deep breath and ponder in your head if you really heard what you just heard. I mean most people wouldn't lift their eyes from their beers for 'bastard'.
Don't make me post "no pubes" in large text a second time in one thread... :)

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And the question to Galac was not to come up with a word that he could shrug off, but to have a really insulting one to himself as a person. I don't want to know that word. I just wanted to point out that you can call me many things and everything that is offensive but does not resonate within me and I couldn't care less. So it is not a good example to use that word which you don't mind being told and say: Hey it can't be that bad. See, I do not even twitch.
Okay. Think of the worst, most insulting word you can, and write it down. Whatever it is, I'm not gonna be offended, because you're not insulting me.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 07, 2004, 12:52:52 PM
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Or are you saying that the 2 have nothing to do with each other and claim ignorance about the slang derivation?
This is the crux of the matter. Firstly, how has the slang derivation actually come about? Not from calling bad things homosexual, presumably, since that makes no sense.
No sense?  Since when are bigots concerned with sense?

I'd say it's abundantly obvious that "gay=bad" was started by people who think of homosexuality as bad.  There are millions of people like that, all over the place.
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But in any case, I maintain that it's progressed long beyond the point where such an origin would have any significance.
Yes, there is no lack of clarity about what your position is.  About how you can believe that, yes, but not about what you believe.

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This made me think, actually. I can pick a word that would really insult me if it was used as an insult addressed to me... let's take "bastard" for example. It's not a nice thing to be called if it's indended to be nasty. Written or spoken in any other context, why should I get offended at it, however?
This really isn't a proper analogy (yes, I know you didn't propose it).  The issue isn't the casual use of an insulting term, but the drift of a neutral term into an insult.  A better example would be--how would you react if people started using "English" to mean "bad"?  Whenever they want to say something's bad--something that has absolutely no connection to English culture, mind--they say it's "English."  "I don't like Neverwinter Nights because 3d is English!"
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: SimDing0™ on May 07, 2004, 01:09:17 PM
I'd say it's abundantly obvious that "gay=bad" was started by people who think of homosexuality as bad.  There are millions of people like that, all over the place.
But this is not to say that everyone who uses it shares the views. Adopting one usage of the word does not force people to consider its origins.
As the only thing that springs to mind: black people addressing their friends as "niggers" presumably do so with little thought for the history behind the word, no?

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This really isn't a proper analogy (yes, I know you didn't propose it).  The issue isn't the casual use of an insulting term, but the drift of a neutral term into an insult.  A better example would be--how would you react if people started using "English" to mean "bad"?  Whenever they want to say something's bad--something that has absolutely no connection to English culture, mind--they say it's "English."  "I don't like Neverwinter Nights because 3d is English!"
As far as I can tell, I don't find it particularly disturbing... and I suspect that if I was surrounded by people saying "that's English!" with no racist implications, I would have even fewer problems with it. They presumably wouldn't be suggesting that things originating in England were bad, and I don't feel overly defensive of "English" as a word.
Yes, I could easily make that claim just for the sake of argument, and I obviously have no way of proving that it's really how I'd react. Take my word for it.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Quitch on May 07, 2004, 06:28:57 PM
Quote from: Cybersquirt
Ah.  So you're saying (from your viewpoint, lest we forget) that equating gay to stupidity is entirely appropriate?  Or are you saying that the 2 have nothing to do with each other and claim ignorance about the slang derivation?  Or are you, as ever, remaining far removed from these trivial matters and claiming some supposed neutral position?

Well, the problem with this theory is that were I to use the phrase "that's so gay", I would mean stupid, stupid and nothing but stupid.  So, unless I am lying and enjoy having a dig at gays, I would like to know how I just struck out at them.  Or, and I have little dobut of this, are you saying that regardless of my intended meaning, because one of several definitions of this word relates to gays, then it should always be taken to mean as such?  I don't believe this is true for any other word with multiple meanings, slang or otherwise, so I fail to see the reasoning here.  To use the phrase "mother-fucker" for example, I would hardly consider someone launching this as part of a tirade against me as an implication that I participated in incest.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Cybersquirt on May 07, 2004, 06:43:03 PM
^ then, ultimately, you fail to believe that the word has dubious origins.  I obviously believe otherwise an AM insulted when people throw it around like water - which would be why I taught my nephew not to do it (but that statement got lost in my lost posts).

Sim: Yes, actually, I do think they know what n***** means, and that's why they use it; I explained why they use it anyway.  As I've said, go up to a black person, 'cause I know you're white, and lay the word on them. 

Ignorance is bliss, but stupid lasts a lifetime.  Young people, anyone, that uses a word without regard to its origin.. I don't know, maybe its supposed to happen that way, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

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Not from calling bad things homosexual, presumably, since that makes no sense.
It makes perfect sense, as Kish points out.

btw, yes, it's a better discussion than NWN any day.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Quitch on May 07, 2004, 08:24:04 PM
Quote from: Cybersquirt
^ then, ultimately, you fail to believe that the word has dubious origins.

Make whatever assumptions you wish.

Quote from: Cybersquirt
I obviously believe otherwise an AM insulted when people throw it around like water - which would be why I taught my nephew not to do it (but that statement got lost in my lost posts).

What offends you is of no interest to me, nor relevant to this debate.

Quote from: Cybersquirt
Sim: Yes, actually, I do think they know what n***** means, and that's why they use it; I explained why they use it anyway.  As I've said, go up to a black person, 'cause I know you're white, and lay the word on them.

Which would prove what?  Surely you're going against your own creed my making this sweeping generalisation about blacks?

Quote from: Cybersquirt
Ignorance is bliss, but stupid lasts a lifetime.  Young people, anyone, that uses a word without regard to its origin.. I don't know, maybe its supposed to happen that way, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Anyone who wants only to speak a language doesn't need to know the origin of a word, only its current meaning.  Frankly, the fact that people use the word without regard to its origin is the very thing that should reassure you.  The day someone can shout "you black bastard!" and no one will regard it any differently to "mother-fucker" will be the day that racsim is dead.  As long as people special case, then it will always exist.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: Kish on May 07, 2004, 08:31:13 PM
What offends you is of no interest to me, nor relevant to this debate.
Considering that you asserted using the term "gay" as an insult is not offensive, the question of whether it offends is the heart and soul of this debate.
Title: Re: "Gay" as an insult
Post by: jcompton on May 07, 2004, 09:29:32 PM
Okay, we're pretty well caught in a loop arguing about root causes now, which is what typically happens in Unresolvable Arguments, so I'd like to thank you all for your generally level-headed participation and encourage you to move on now.