Difference between revisions of "Talk:Ann Coulter"

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:: Yes, you could say she has "plausible deniability," but it seems a stretch to me. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith]] 16:40, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
 
:: Yes, you could say she has "plausible deniability," but it seems a stretch to me. [[User:Dpbsmith|Dpbsmith]] 16:40, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
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::: But Edwards isn't gay.  So what do you think Coulter meant by the term, if not the ordinary schoolhouse usage?  Do you think it is racist for one African American to use the "N" word to refer to another African American?  I really don't see how there can be a gay slur against someone who isn't gay.
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::: By the way, dictionaries are biased just like anything else.  "Common Era" is in the dictionary now also, but we expressly reject the dictionary about that.  Conservatives resist liberal attempts to change meanings of words to suit the liberal agenda.--[[User:Aschlafly|Aschlafly]] 16:47, 11 March 2007 (EDT)

Revision as of 14:47, 11 March 2007

I don't believe that footnote is all that necessary. Do you seriously think that anyone who's ever spoken English _doesn't_ know what a f****t is? --Sandbagger 15:16, 11 March 2007 (EDT)

Yes, it is important, for precisely the reason articulated below by Aschlafly. Coulter says the word "has nothing to do with gays." Dpbsmith 16:03, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
I'm going to look for a real definition that captures its widespread use in the 1970s as a wimp or wuss. In slang in the 1970s it did not typically mean homosexual. The etymology of the word has nothing to do with homosexuality, as it comes from British prep schools a century ago.--Aschlafly 15:19, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
I agree that it comes from British prep schools a century ago, the three-letter version anyway. More than a century ago, actually, as it appears throughout Tom Brown's Schooldays, published in 1857 and probably is derived from Hughes' experiences decades before. But I can only suppose that you have been deceived by the euphemistic way in which British prep schools have been described in literature. Dpbsmith 16:06, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
The three-letter version is defined by Wentworth and Flexner (1967) Dictionary of American Slang, Supplemented Edition, Crowell:
n. 1. A cigarette c1915 .... 2 A homosexual; an effeminate man.... Although [it use for cigarettes] may have reinforced the use of the word, [three-letter version], a boy servant or lackey has been common Eng. schoolboy use since before 1830, and may be the origin....
There is probably no way to be certain of the range of services traditionally provided by "boy servants or lackeys" in British prep schools. Even Orwell's "Such, Such Were the Joys" is very elliptical on this point. In "Such, Such Were the Joys" Orwell says "At some preparatory schools homosexuality is not a problem," but is frank about its existence at St. Cyprians. He gives few details, saying that at that time he was in "an almost sexless state" and he does not use the word we're discussing. Dpbsmith 16:10, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
Aschlafly, If your source for "This explanation is consistent with the use of the term in American and British schools in the 20th century" is your own experience, all I can say is, not at the American school I attended in the 20th century. Dpbsmith 16:24, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
I don't know. But the term was never meant to apply exclusively, or even primarily, as a slur against gays. Mayor Sharpe's use demonstrates that. It's more plausible that homosexuals adopted the term "faggot" just as they adopted the term "gay". A famous Alfred Hitchcock movie (1940s?) has a line where the actor describes San Francisco as "gay". That was not a slur, and the adoption of the term by the homosexual movement does not mean that everyone else must immediately abandon its traditional meaning.--Aschlafly 16:25, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
Now is not the 1970s, and its meaning is pretty well set at this point. --Sandbagger 15:42, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
Etymology of the term, for anyone who's interested. Tsumetai 15:44, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for the citation, which I've concluded. Does Sandbagger think the meaning of the word "niggardly" has now changed also? I've added that incident to this entry.--Aschlafly 16:04, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
I don't think the parallel is good. The meaning of "niggardly" is well-defined. The dictionary does not suggest that it is racial slur, or hint that it should be avoided because of its similarly in sound to a racial slur. The person who used it was almost certainly using it in good faith with its dictionary meaning (there's a possibility he was deliberately using it because it was similar in sound to a racial slur but I discount it). Those who objected to it were fools.
In the case of Ann Coulter's use of the word she used, the situation is not parallel. It is much hazier. Unlike "niggardly," the standard dictionary definition of the word is a reference to homosexuality. (I don't think anyone would argue that she was talking about a bundle of twigs). Coulter may have been going by the meaning of the word as she learned it at school. She very likely never looked it up in a dictionary. Her recollection of what the word meant in her school may be accurate—or may have reflected innocence on her part at the time. And in the intervening years she may never have heard the word used to mean "homosexual."
Yes, you could say she has "plausible deniability," but it seems a stretch to me. Dpbsmith 16:40, 11 March 2007 (EDT)
But Edwards isn't gay. So what do you think Coulter meant by the term, if not the ordinary schoolhouse usage? Do you think it is racist for one African American to use the "N" word to refer to another African American? I really don't see how there can be a gay slur against someone who isn't gay.
By the way, dictionaries are biased just like anything else. "Common Era" is in the dictionary now also, but we expressly reject the dictionary about that. Conservatives resist liberal attempts to change meanings of words to suit the liberal agenda.--Aschlafly 16:47, 11 March 2007 (EDT)