Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What's In a Word?

I have begun to realize something about myself. I am becoming less tolerant in a society that oozes tolerance. I'm more homogenous in a world of diversity. I am of a distinct culture that has been robbed by multiculturalism. I yearn for equal opportunity in a sea of people espousing equal outcomes.

But here's a chigger for me; there are certain words that have been completely hijacked out from under me. And they were perfectly good words, to boot.

Take gay for example. That one really, really gets under my skin. Why? I'll tell you. First of all, it was a perfectly good first name for girls when I was growing up. Heck, I played spin the bottle with Gay S. and got married to Gay F. in the second grade. That's serious stuff! How in the world did it come to be identified and hijacked by the homosexual community? Now if you say "it was a gay party", people will look at you with their eyes crossed!

I was recently reminded of another word hijacked, courtesy of Black History Month. It was a word commonly used by leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcom Little (Malcom X) all the time, as evidenced by the speeches we hear over and over again. Now I only ever hear it in the context of "a mind is a terrible thing to waste"(UNCF). Yep! You guessed it, its negro. Oh my gosh, did I just type "negro". Yes I did. Since when did the word negro become racist? And they substituted the word black. Black? Really very few blacks are "black". More like a shade of brown. What's up with that?

Then there's the ultimate hijack. Now if something is good, it is bad. That's bad man means it was really good. Huh? Now things are turned upside down. What's down is up and what's up is down. No wonder we have a crazed and neurotic society. But some would say that our language is just evolving. Yeah. In the sixties you would make a statement like, "the local homosexual Negro was good at singing". Now, it would be translated, "the gay Black was a bad rapper homeboy". Say What?!

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