Linguistic Anthropology

The study of language has been part of anthropology since the discipline started in the 1ate 1870s. This site is a place for linguistic anthropologists to post their work and discuss important events and trends in the field.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Softening Expletives

Some linganth mailing-list subscribers recently discussed the current use of "that's so gay" in relationship to gender relationships and sexual orientation.
The most recent episode of The Word Nerds mentions the softening of that and other expressions in the context of expletives (including the 'F' word). Not family-friendly but quite interesting in terms of language ideologies.
Expletives (87) at The Word Nerds


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not you realize it, "that's gay" has always referred negatively to homosexuals. I first noticed more and more people to use "that's gay" online and in person during the late 90's, and the phrase was used in lieu of "FUBAR", "how lame", "gag me with a spoon", etc. I can assure you, "gay" was no longer being used as a synonym for "happy" in the 90's by the vast majority of Americans.

Many words and phrases used in slang English are derogatory towards other groups of people, such as "gypped", "I got Jewed", "wifebeater", etc.

Is it possible that the MA left the comment on the board because she didn't want another confrontation with you?

12:22 PM  

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