I am not Frodo: A Facebook conversation

Discuss

56 Responses to “I am not Frodo: A Facebook conversation”

  1. Xopher says:

    I think this is common sense.

    I’d call it common courtesy (though courtesy is increasingly uncommon these days), more than common sense (ditto), but I agree with the approach.

    But I think you miss part of the point, or my post above was tl;dr. This is why I think so:

    So you can tell a teen that “hey, I know ‘gay’ doesn’t mean anything offensive to you, but it is a homophone with a nasty word used among English speakers in general.

    The point is actually almost the exact opposite. ‘Gay’ is not a “nasty word,” and they’re using it as if it is. THAT’s what’s offensive. There’s a character in a Zenna Henderson story who says to her grade-school teacher, “I’m proud to be Mexican. But if [boy she just slugged] calls me Mexican like a bad word, I’m gonna slug him!”

    Suppose I decide to use the word ‘jew’ as a generic insult. Even if I don’t use it as a consistent part of speech, it’s going to be offensive. “I think our dress code is totally jew, and I’m sick of following jew rules.” “But dude, wearing flipflops in December is still jew.” “I’m not jew, you are!” “No, you are!”

    Their parents would put a stop to that PDQ, unless they’re KKK members. And ‘Jew’ (the proper noun) is not a bad word at all, nor does it stand for anything bad; this fact is what makes it offensive to use it (or its homophone if you like) as an insult word.

    The other thing you missed is that it needs to be stamped out among the young-adolescent peer group, not just “consider your audience”d. Remember, gays are a hidden minority, and born into straight families; the kids don’t know which of their friends are gay (one of the stars of the b-ball team in my high school was a closeted gay boy, I found out years later), and they’re hurting them without knowing it. Some of them would be OK with that, and they should be punished; most (I hope) would be horrified, and they should be educated.

    Either you missed those points, or you have a basic disagreement with them, but it doesn’t appear from your comment that you do.

    • bkad says:

      But I think you miss part of the point, or my post above was tl;dr. This is why I think so:
      So you can tell a teen that “hey, I know ‘gay’ doesn’t mean anything offensive to you, but it is a homophone with a nasty word used among English speakers in general.
      The point is actually almost the exact opposite. ‘Gay’ is not a “nasty word,” and they’re using it as if it is.

      Thanks for reminding me of this. That wasn’t what I wanted to say. What I was trying to show was that ‘gay’, as used to mean ‘generally unpleasant’ as the teens do, probably doesn’t carry with it any reference to or judgement of homosexual men and women. By group agreement, that’s not what the word means, and to take it that way is a mistake on the part of the listener. But it is a justifiable mistake, and those teen speakers need to learn that the word gay also refers to homosexual men and women in the language of other English speakers, and conflating the two meanings (bad, homosexual) amounts to making ‘gay’ a nasty word (as you pointed out).

      Regarding your other example. Let me tweak that a little. Let’s imagine there’s a community somewhere that uses the word ‘joo’ to mean ‘bad’. “Joo’ is not the same word as ‘Jew’, but it is pronounced the same way. A bunch of people talking about how joo their homework is aren’t saying anything at all about Jewish men and women. But someone (either a Jewish member of their community or an outsider) could easily hear the word ‘Jew’, and assume the speakers believed there was an equivalence between Jew and bad. They’d be offended, and rightly so. The people in the community failed to anticipate that ‘joo’ would be heard as ‘Jew’. By continuing to use ‘Joo’ in a context where it could be misunderstood, those speakers have morally failed.

      I’m alleging (speculating from anecdote, since I’m not a member of the community in question) that in teen or preteen talk gay and gay are two different words which only coincidentally sound the same way. These teens are failing to recognize that someone listening to them (either another teen or an outsider) could be hurt by this if the listener hears ‘gay’ and ‘gay’ as the same word.

      I think someone claimed in this discussion that in writing (some) teens write ‘ghey’. If that’s true, that would be a very strong argument that that population perceives ghey and gay as two different terms, and that confusing them is socially unacceptable. That’s not bad, really. It would show that the group culture (if not the individuals in it) have absorbed the lesson that calling things ‘gay’ is inappropriate.

  2. stosh machek says:

    very funny…i guess its easy to forget when one’s own little corner of FB is half-way intelligent in its usual discourse, that the vast, unwashed majority of it is probably more like the lunchroom at jr. high

  3. Xopher says:

    Seriously, I only wondered if you were a troll when I was wondering if you were the specific troll V*x D*y, whose name I will not utter here.

    But you clearly didn’t bother to read my long post, or even just the part of it that was addressed to you. If you had, you’d’ve addressed the points I made there instead of repeating what you said before. I guess the fact that your prior post made you sound like an idiot was NOT a coincidence.

    • Day Vexx says:

      I read it, but didn’t feel like I had a lot to say about your comment beyond defending my non-troll status. This whole argument seems rather Dada to me, so I’d gathered that I must not have made myself clear enough. This happens to me occasionally online, what with text lacking visual cues and all…

      As for “the troll who shall remain nameless,” I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him at Pharyngula before… needless to say, I’m not terribly pleased at the comparison. You’re awfully quick to jump out with the “idiot” thing too– we’re having a disagreement, to be sure, but I didn’t doubt for a moment that I was speaking with someone possessing human feelings on the other end. I kinda wish you were operating on the same principle.

      • Xopher says:

        The comparison was NOT based on anything you actually said. I found the final line of your earlier post obnoxious (I’ll get to that in a sec), but it was solely about your name. I’m sorry I came across as comparing you to VD, who is a genuinely evil human being; clearly I didn’t communicate clearly enough. I had no intention of comparing you to him. It was only the similarity in names that caught my eye.

        As for calling you an idiot…whether or not most people would “earn” a trip to the ER by using privilege on one website to denounce privilege in a broader context is not the point. Your claim that Antinous and I have been beaten, not for being gay, but for mouthing off in that way, is pretty fucking reprehensible; it was actually charitable to ascribe it to stupidity on your part rather than to your being a deliberately obnoxious asshole like the aforementioned VD.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Personally I use the word “f.gg.ts” to refer to sticks and balks of firewood. I call cigarettes “f.gs”. I also like to refer to people who are unreasonably frugal as “niggardly”.

    Sometimes I meet people who think that their poor understanding of English means that I agree with their racist and/or homophobic ideas. I enjoy enlightening them.

  5. Emily says:

    Right, so the OP will warn for pre-teen use of “gay” and comments get into heated debate over its appropriate/oppressiveness…

    But there’s no warning or comment on the ableism of using “lame” as a derogatory word?

    Come on, boingboing, PLEASE.

  6. Suds says:

    Just as an observation, Is it possible that the age/experience of the commenters above affects their view of the phrase? I personally don’t use the term, I don’t like offending people (would rather self-censor). However, I do know other young people who are of the GLBT community who use it. The meaning of the word has changed more than once. I’m sorry anyone has ever used it to hurt others, but I try to look at intent when it is used (especially by youth on the net).

  7. smammers says:

    Okay, “FRODO DOESN’T HAVE A POOL” made me laugh.

  8. Hawley says:

    thank god you placed those inverted commas around the word gay, because otherwise i just might have been offended by your tactless expression.

  9. Daedalus says:

    I LOL’d at “Frodo has a pool,” and again with the twist ending. I remember having arguments in high school that went pretty much exactly like that, mostly just for the sake of lulz.

  10. Xopher says:

    I actually started giggling aloud at “FRODO DOESNT HAVE A POOL,” and I think Kyle is a boy after me owen haart. Walking into that stupid conversation with such seriousness is an act of heroism in itself!

  11. Xopher says:

    Oo, oo, now I want a t-shirt that says “FRODO DOESNT HAVE A POOL” with the lack of punctuation and everything! Maybe a picture of Bag End with a pool crossed out with a red circle-slash. Entrepreneurs take note.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I simply cannot stand all that “you’re gay” “that’s gay” type talk.

    Every time I hear it I have to reject it out loud. I get a lot of grief for it but I don’t care. I hear all the time “They don’t mean it” “it just means…” blah blah blah.

    Stuff that. It creates an unpleasant, unwelcoming, hostile atmosphere for kids and adults that may already have enough trouble struggling with the issue for whatever reason. And I am not so sure it doesn’t lead to cementing negativity toward LGBT folks that can lead to actual physical harm or intimidation later in life.

    That aside, the pool thing was hilarious.

    • zumdish says:

      Ahh, just let semantic change allow it to develop into an inoffensive synonym for “lame” and don’t worry about it. Language progresses.

      • Xopher says:

        Nonsense. It evolves, but not all evolution is progress. One force that shapes it is the opinion of hearers. The N word has disappeared from some environments where it was once common.

        And if you don’t think it’s intended to be hurtful toward the queer community, or that it’s in fact an accusation of homosexuality (even if watered down by overuse)…I would speculate that you don’t know much about adolescent males.

        • Anonymous says:

          No evolution is progress.
          “Evolution” is an observed fact of life.
          “Progress” is a value-based abstraction.
          And evolution is not purposeful.

        • zumdish says:

          I don’t think it is an accusation of homosexuality – speaking from my own experience from having been an adolescent male.

          In my (long ago) day, we threw the word “fggt” around liberally. I assure you it was never a comment on someone’s sexuality, it was synonymous with “pussy”, “wuss” etc. Perhaps a (heavily) veiled reference to one’s level of masculinity, but never one’s sexuality. Nobody implied homosexuality by it, nor did anyone infer it.

          I’m still struggling with the whole “It’s not how the comment is intended, it’s how it is taken” thing. I think people need thicker skins.

          That said, I’m so divorced from youth culture today that I’ll accept the term (used in this fashion) is offensive, but I’m pretty certain most kids don’t mean it that way.

          • blueelm says:

            I love the irony here. I didn’t think it was homophobia, just misogyny.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            I think people need thicker skins.

            You only think that because you’re in the position of privilege. It holds no meaning for you. For some of us, those words precede a visit to the emergency room to get sewn up or a visit to the funeral parlor to get embalmed. Speaking for those of us who aren’t in the position of privilege, we don’t care what you think. You just need to shut it or take the consequences for using hate speech.

          • bkad says:

            Antinous,

            I agree with you, but I think your reply here is quite a bit more hostile and aggressive than zumdish’s. It is so out of scale that it turns me away from your argument. Particularly, invoking the word ‘privilege’ in a discussion is almost always deeply insulting. First, it’s dismissive. It says, “your pov is irrelevant because you’re an XX” — the same dismissal as when someone says, for example, that a girl is “just PMS’ing”. Secondly, it’s presumptuous: you don’t know him or his story; none of us really know anyone on the Internet that well. Maybe he has it easy, maybe he doesn’t. We don’t know.

            Besides, he indicated that he accepted that the term was offensive and (presumably) doesn’t use it. That’s what matters, right?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            That’s what matters, right?

            Not when it comes with a backhanded insult about how we should toughen up. You say something that makes me cringe, I’m going to bat it right back at you.

            It says, “your pov is irrelevant because you’re an XX” — the same dismissal as when someone says, for example, that a girl is “just PMS’ing”.

            Completely specious. In my case it’s an argument against privileged speech. In your example it’s an argument in favor of privileged speech. And in case you’re wondering, privileged speech refers to speech that can be delivered without consequences because the speaker belongs to the dominant group.

          • Day Vexx says:

            I dunno, it sounds pretty privileged to be able to tell people to “shut it or take the consequences” whenever they use a word to mean one thing, and you get angry and insist it means another. Maybe that’s why you’re getting sewn up in the hospital.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Maybe that’s why you’re getting sewn up in the hospital.

            We didn’t get gay rights by remaining submissive. Your implication that GLBT people are assaulted and murdered because we spoke back to the hateholes speaks to the depth of your prejudice.

          • Day Vexx says:

            I’m actually sorta replying to you AND Xopher. First off– I’m not a troll. I just think it’s ridiculous to get so offended about a word that doesn’t even mean what you’re wanting it to mean. Trying to assert that level of control over what someone else means by using some sort of “trumps everything” gay civil rights card is a jerky move imo. And then trying to fit a homophobe hat on me for speaking my mind about slang… I think that’s sidestepping the real issue– you can be as offended as you want, but you don’t get to dictate others’ meaning.

            Break it down, and try to see it from my view– someone insists they are talking about “A” and you insist they stop talking about “B”, then go so far as to tell them to shut up, while pointing out their so-called privileged position. And you’re a moderator! Yes, I do believe this would win most people a trip to the ER in real life.

          • Xopher says:

            First off– I’m not a troll.

            Plainly you’re using the word ‘troll’ in a different way that I read it. Pray explain your usage.

  13. jeligula says:

    Kyle saved their friendship, such as it is. And there was a nice fish pond at Bag End, so Frodo did, in fact, have a pool.

  14. blueelm says:

    Um… I catch myself saying “ghey” some times, but I can vouch for the fact that where I’m from it means “generally unpleasant” BECAUSE it also means “homosexual” so yeah. They are not just related, it’s just like when some one says “Do it, faggot!” and no that isn’t just a random word.

    So no, it’s a lot more like saying n*gger rich and then saying that’s not a racist statement because it doesn’t really describe black people, just the state of having new wealth you don’t know how to deal with.

  15. Clifton says:

    The comment thread on Lamebook rapidly turns almost as funny-stupid as the original one.

  16. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Every time I hear it I have to reject it out loud. I get a lot of grief for it but I don’t care. I hear all the time “They don’t mean it” “it just means…”

    Good for you, Anon! That’s what it takes to make change – stand up for your beliefs.

    On a tangential note, I am reliably informed that the correct spelling when quoting stupid pre-teens is “ghey”.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That was pretty much how all conversations used to go over at this “Tolkien Society” that one of my childhod pals used to dragg me along to during collage.

    • Xopher says:

      Sorry you had such a bad Tolkien Society. The Tolkien Fellowship at MSU was pretty good…still friends with people I met there 30 years later.

      Is a “childhod” like a bricklayer’s hod only padded? (I know, I’m just teasing.)

  18. Xopher says:

    bkad 24: No problem. We’re cool.

    Anon 25: Well, yes. That’s pretty much what I meant by “not all evolution is progress.” I could have said “linguistic change is a fact of life, but not all linguistic change is an improvement—we have to judge each case to decide whether it’s ‘progress’ or not.” Social opposition rarely prevents or guides linguistic change, but cases do exist: the N word wasn’t nearly as taboo when I was a child, and in my judgement that change IS progress.

    Suds 26: I’m sorry anyone has ever used it to hurt others, but I try to look at intent when it is used (especially by youth on the net).

    I’m not saying they should be beaten with a chain or anything, just that they should be corrected with a level of gentleness appropriate to their intent in using it. I like the little commercials about it that started appearing on YouTube last year. I’ll try to remember to link to them later (YouTube is blocked here).

    Day Vexx 27: After seeing the last sentence of this comment, I looked at your profile to see if you were the infamous troll and internet griefer whose nom de guerre so resembles the one you’re using here. I’m convinced that you aren’t, but that line is really over the top. Do you really think that Antinous and I were beaten on the street because we got angry at other people’s usage? If you really think that, you’re an idiot; if you don’t, you might want to be a little more careful about making comments that make you sound like one. Just a suggestion.

    And btw, Antinous IS privileged here: he’s a (in some senses the) Moderator. I say thee, nyahh.

    zumdish 30: Fair enough Xopher, I’m as WASPy as they come and I recognize that has granted me advantages that the myriad marginalized groups in society never had.

    Thanks. I’d like to point out that one of those privileges is that of considering yourself unmarked (in the linguistic sense of being more or less the default case). Another is that there are no derisive names for what you are in common usage; ‘whitey’ and ‘honkie’ are pretty weak as insults. Part of the reason they’re weak is that they don’t come with the threat of violence attached most of the time. Also, if anyone beat you for being a WASP, your assailant would be dealt with harshly, not praised by his parents and teachers.

    (When I was young, a pair of thugs were brought before a judge for a bashing incident. The judge is reported to have asked, in incredulous tones, “Are we prosecuting people for beating up fggts now?” Yes, a judge said that. You don’t know how bad it was.)

    I’ve been called ‘fggt’ (one of only three words banned outright from BB, IIRC) by people who were in the process of hitting me (or kicking me) enough times that the word itself constitutes a threat of violence when used to me. Someone may not intend it as one; if they don’t, they’re usually startled by my reaction. I generally explain.

    But my ability to do so is in part based on the fact that I’ve never been beaten as severely as Antinous has. I’ve been bloodied, and had an eye swollen shut for a while, but never needed an ER visit. I would suggest (and I mean this to be more friendly than it may sound) that you not judge Antinous and others who HAVE been to the ER over such things too harshly, even when they’re harsh themselves.

    I do try to stick with what polite society as a whole seems to accept.

    (Yes, it was obvious that you meant that…and in a less tense discussion I would tease you for the typo.) I think that polite society is in severe decline, especially in America, but one form of activism is to try to shape what’s considered polite. That’s why I’m spending all this time having this conversation; I want to enlist your aid, and the aid of everyone who reads this, in making it a barrier to acceptance in polite society to use the word ‘gay’ in that fashion. AJ and Jeremy don’t care about polite society, but making it clear that you think they’re being stupid to use the word that way may help shape their opinion. (Note: telling them it offends you is probably counterproductive, adolescent males being what they are. No one likes being called stupid, though, even if they’re as stupid as AJ and Jeremy.)

    This is one of those things that’s desperately hard to communicate. I can tell you to imagine that you’re an adolescent boy, and have a secret that if your friends knew it would cause them to avoid you completely or possibly even beat the shit out of you, but you probably can’t, even if you try with the best will in the world. Telling you to then imagine that they use a descriptor for that secret to mean “stupid and pointless,” or as a generic insult with no force at all beyond “I don’t like that,” and to imagine how you’d feel, would be equally fruitless (npi). Hey, if I’m wrong, give it a shot.

    You see, AJ and Jeremy don’t actually hurt ME. They’re too stupid and too distant for me to care about, especially since I’m probably older than their parents. But they almost certainly have peers with that secret (perhaps the hapless Kyle), who feel worse and worse about themselves every time someone says ‘gay’ with the moronic-teen meaning in their presence. Gay teens have six times the suicide rate of straight teens, just so you know. This is something that matters. I appeal to your conscience.

    Having said that, lemme go bang my head against the wall because the mods feel we’re not adult enough to see (in a rational discussion on language) “the ‘F’ word that is currently a hateful term for homosexual males”.

    That’s not why the F word is banned here. It’s banned because letting it stand attracts the wrong kind of internet attention. BB has enough Google-juice that if it were allowed homophobic assholes (redundant, I know) would come out of the woodwork, and rational conversations on topics like this one would be impossible. The same is true of the C and N words, though in those cases the assholes would be misogynist and racist, respectively.

    No offense meant.

    None taken, though I understand why others did take offense.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Reminds of #21 and #24 from Venture Bros. Except perhaps a bit dumber.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I kind of wonder if this one might have been staged…the dopey humor seems a little too perfect, and would “Kyle” really be friends with those guys? It’d be pretty easy to get three friends to have a fake conversation and then send in a screenshot to Lamebook.

  21. Xopher says:

    IME “people need thicker skins” is almost always said from a position of privilege.

    But let’s ask. zumdish, what minority group(s) do you belong to? There, now either zumdish will admit he’s a white middle-class male (or say nothing, which is the same thing) or I’ll have a tool to approach the issue with him.

    • zumdish says:

      Fair enough Xopher, I’m as WASPy as they come and I recognize that has granted me advantages that the myriad marginalized groups in society never had.

      My “thicker skins” comment is brusque shorthand for my frustration that every time I engage in this debate, those with your point of view seemingly refuse to grant sufficient (or any) weight to the intent of the speaker.

      I grant you if good intent is received as hostility, then effective communication has not taken place. Yet the answer is not to attempt to sanitize speech so as to not offend anyone. Individuals will always have different opinions on what is irksome, offensive or hateful. I do try to stick with what police society as a whole seems to accept.

      Having said that, lemme go bang my head against the wall because the mods feel we’re not adult enough to see (in a rational discussion on language)”the ‘F’ word that is currently a hateful term for homosexual males”.

      No offense meant.

      • zumdish says:

        Freudian slip?

        I meant of course, “polite society”.

      • blueelm says:

        It’s not sanitizing speech, it’s taking a bit of your privilege. You see there used to be no consequences when you said that, but there would be big consequences for arguing with that statement.

        The fact that some one can stand up to that crap *is* what free speech is all about.

  22. teapot says:

    I’m with anti… I refuse to accept bastardisation of my language, thankyou very much – Esp. by those who are in high school. I dont care what they *mean*, it is not my responsibility to have to decode stupidity.

    Of course I understand their intended meaning, but my respect for the intelligence of anyone who uses the ‘f’ word instantly depreciates to near zero.

    Furthermore, re: the use of the word “lame” – I’m sorry, but it is just a load of PC crap that “lame” is an inappropriate word. The whole argument falls apart when you get to the part about a word taking on unfair negative connotations. While the life and value of a person with a disability is unarguably the same as someone who is fully able-bodied, it is impossible to argue that being lame is an advantage.

    When we compare this against the ‘f’ word, there is no definitive advantage or disadvantage to being hetero or homo (excluding the fact that if you like the same team then, at present, the Neanderthals of society will make you face persecution for living true to yourself).

    “Lame” – describes something which has an unarguable disadvantage and holds a powerful and definite visual image.

    “3 letter f word” – describes something which has no specific advantages or disadvantages and holds a hazy, stereotyped and undefined image which bears little to no relation to reality.

    Plus, “lame” has been in use since the 18th century to describe things other than people with disabilities, which is more than enough time for a word to be considered valid, IMHO.

  23. bkad says:

    Just so we’re clear here, I am not zumdish. I don’t think he intended to escalate this the way I have, so I want to make sure he isn’t blamed for that. And I don’t want to put words in his mouth.

    I didn’t intend my claim that ‘privileged’ is a dismissive label to argue for or against ‘privileged speech,’ a term which is not even part of my lexicon. My point was that you (presumably deliberately) used a dismissive term in a reply to a post that was only unintentionally offensive (and ended with a positive statement about playing by the rules!). I thought being dismissive was overkill, and speaking as someone who essentially agrees with you it turns me off. Obviously I felt strongly about it or I wouldn’t have posted, but my reaction may be in the minority here. Possibly someone more familiar with ‘privileged’ as an academic term wouldn’t consider it as value-loaded.

  24. bkad says:

    Maybe part of the frustration people feel with language sensitivity is the way the meanings of words are discussed. Language derives meaning from societal consensus. To be trite, ‘two’ refers to the integer between ‘one’ and ‘three’. By agreement, that’s what the words means, independent of the listener or speaker. Similarly ‘gay’, in teentalk, simply is not the same thing as ‘gay’ among adult English speakers. Speaking for myself, I find the claim that the listener decides what a communication means is intellectually offensive. No, a message means what the (evolving) group consensus says it means, where the group is the intended audience. Neither the listener nor the speaker decides the words mean something else, and if someone applies the wrong ruleset to decode the message — that someone is wrong.

    But! (And this is a HUGE but) that doesn’t mean ‘wrongfully offended.’ We have a moral responsibility not to offend or terrorize. If we know the ruleset of our audience is substantially different from the ruleset our neighbors operate under, and that our message may be intercepted, we have a moral responsibility to consider that in our choice of words. So you can tell a teen that “hey, I know ‘gay’ doesn’t mean anything offensive to you, but it is a homophone with a nasty word used among English speakers in general. You could be misunderstood, and because it is so easily anticipated you’d be morally responsible for not preventing that misunderstanding” (Not that I propose you actually talk to teenagers like that :-) )

    I think this is common sense. Don’t say things you know to be offensive to your audience. Be informed about what other language rulesets your audience may be using besides yours, and about who else besides your audience is listening. Don’t say things that are likely to be misunderstood as offensive. At the least, make it very clear which ruleset you’re following. If you fail to do these things and you hurt someone with your language, that’s your fault, even if the misunderstanding was theirs.

    Is this an approach people can agree on? How do people feel about it? I think it makes good intellectual and moral sense.

  25. bkad says:

    Oh, and I 100% agree with boingboing blocking certain words from the forums, with the intent of limiting which populations are attracted to the board. I didn’t realize this was done (must be I don’t use any of those words) but it is a good strategy that works.

  26. Xopher says:

    I was using it in the sense of social privilege.

    Also, I really HATE being told I need a thicker skin. That’s the same as being told I should know my place as far as I’m concerned; it means “suck it up, fggt.” I don’t in any way think zumdish meant it that way, but I want to explain to him why it comes across that way.

    The meaning of communication is what is heard, not what is said.

  27. 42 says:

    Interesting contrast-and-compare exercise with the comments from this post and the lamebook one.

    PS: @xopher: omg u r so straight lol.

  28. zumdish says:

    BTW – Censoring particular words to avoid troll searches was an angle I hadn’t considered, I stand corrected. Disappointing that it would also block those doing genuine linguistic or social research, I’ve read some instructive comments in this thread.

  29. bkad says:

    Um… I catch myself saying “ghey” some times, but I can vouch for the fact that where I’m from it means “generally unpleasant” BECAUSE it also means “homosexual” so yeah.

    Maybe I’m mistaken, then. I never would have suspected this to be true (among people under 15, anyway). That’s what I get for speculating.

    • Xopher says:

      The message that homosexuality is bad is pretty pervasive in our culture. Kids pick it up shockingly early.

      • japroach says:

        I think you would be hard pressed to find a straight teenage boy (in any culture) that would describe two dudes getting it on as pleasant.

        Instinct may play its part as well.

        • Xopher says:

          INSTINCT?! Wow, haven’t heard THAT in a while.

          It’s not INSTINCTIVE to be homophobic. Whoever fed you that line of BS was either lying or ignorant.

          • japroach says:

            What I’m trying to say is its possible that straight males are instinctively turned off by homosexuality.

            Someone “hating” the thought of having sex with the same gender and hating someone who does this is not necessarily mutual.

          • Xopher says:

            Well then your comment at 49 would seem to be irrelevant. It was a reply to my statement that “The message that homosexuality is bad is pretty pervasive in our culture.” That has nothing to do with whether they’d like to participate in it personally.

            I have no desire to participate in heterosexual sex, but I don’t have the idea that it’s “bad” in any way. Your confusion of the two is a typical result of being raised in our twisted culture. It’s just that distinction we need to make.

            Unfortunately teenagers (especially) have difficulty distinguishing between “not for me” and “no good” in general. I remember the bewildered look I got from a guy (in college, actually) when he bristled when I told him I didn’t care for certain music; he said “There’s nothing wrong with this music!” I replied “I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it—just that *I* don’t like it!” He was very confused. I don’t think anyone had made such a distinction in his presence before.

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