Queer Diction

I’m usually cautious not to use words I’m uncertain of, but when I was younger I did use words I read in books that have since acquired very different primary meanings. I remember reading the word “gay” and looking it up in my children’s dictionary (which was written in the ’70s, a very “gay” decade), and later using it myself to mean happy. This was maybe around 2000 or so, so I was like six. Suffice to say I had no knowledge of homosexuality, and wouldn’t until a few years later when it was all over the news about how California and Massachusetts would be legalizing same sex marriage. I first encountered the word “ejaculate” while reading Mark Twain and when I looked it up, this time in an unabridged Webster’s, the first definition was not the one the book meant. Amusingly a lot of these terms have been sneakily used in the past with our modern meanings.


I only read the first four or five Hardy Boys before getting utterly bored with the contrived formula and outdated dialogue using words phrases like “swell fellow,” but now I wouldn’t mind rereading them. Too bad the modern editions are censored.

Hardy Boys

Lots of people have noticed this: http://richmerritt.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/whats-your-egi-earliest-gay-influence-or-the-hardy-boys-made-me-gay/


1 Comment

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One response to “Queer Diction

  1. well picked. and ‘erection’ is an other one. i used to get annoyed, when people were ‘one-sided’ about these words, now i like to provoke them with these words

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