The word fag... what is its true meaning | INFJ Forum

The word fag... what is its true meaning

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by tfg345i4u5lw, Apr 17, 2010.

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  1. tfg345i4u5lw

    On Holiday

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    The other day i was walking in SF when I walked past a guy with a religious poster screaming into a crowd. He was saying things like; "Gays and Lesbians will burn in hell for the rest of eternity!! God will punish those blah blah!! etc.". He had a crowd of people around him who were very annoyed and obviously had different beliefs.

    The first thing I said to myself when I walked past this guy was "what a fag". Shortly after I realized, "I just called a guy who is protesting against homosexuals a fag, thats funny".

    My point is this, the word fag has no connection to homosexuals for most people who use it. Here is my definition of a fag.

    Fag - 1) a person who uses their energy to spread hatred or push their beliefs on other people 2) a really annoying person



    Isn't it about time we update the meaning of the word fag??
     
    #1 tfg345i4u5lw, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
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  2. Questingpoet

    Questingpoet Not Afraid to Use His Beard
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    At one time it meant a cord of wood. It is also a term used for cigarettes in Britain I believe.
     
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  3. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    it's like south park said, you can be a homosexual without being a fag. fag = insult. homosexual = not an insult. I think the word's meaning has changed from what it was previously known as - kind of like the word retard. you can be retarded in the medical sense without being "retarded" in the colloquial sense.
     
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  4. Vulcan

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    Words have both denotative and connotative definitions. The dictionary tells us the formal, codified way that a word has been used in the past. The connotative meaning of words is constantly changing. If a connotative meaning of a word is used frequently enough and for a long enough time, then it will be added as a denotative definition. Conversely, if a denotative definition is rarely used, then it become classified as archaic. So, as long as a sizable amount of speakers use fag as a slur against LGBTs, then it will remain a legitimate use of the word, regardless of the ethics involved in its use.
     
  5. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    ((I've been dying to use this legitimately at some point in my life)):

    Vulcan, you are a cunning linguist. :D

    But seriously - and technically - Vulcan is right. Words evolve, and our meaning of a particular word evolves right along with it. Certain words no longer carry the same meaning, or they lose their meaning. "Bitch" for example is less used to indicate a female dog than it is to denote an insult.

    That being said, not all word evolutions are positive and we should recognize that some words have become offensive, even if the original meaning was not meant to be offensive. And some words become less favorable, depending on your culture. Even certain words we feel are ordinary can become derogatory if a misplaced meaning is attached ('coon' comes to mind). So "fag" should not be used in everyday language even if it is legitimate language, because its meaning is derogatory towards certain members of society.

    My two cents.
     
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  6. Vulcan

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    I am but a humble wordsmith, as my name may imply. Thanks for complementing my language skills by using a linguistic device; it makes it doubly enjoyable! :hail:
     
  7. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    Anytime, Vulcan. ;)

    And to truly answer the OP's question:
    The etymology of the word has to really change with the culture using it the most. If the culture that uses that word most changes its meaning, then it will spread to the rest of the culture (eventually) or else it becomes part of that culture's identity (and for use of that culture's alone - no one else's).

    It can become mockery if another culture tries to step in and change the etymology of a word, IMO. A close comparison would probably be the "n" word in African-American culture.
     
  8. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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  9. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    If you can convince a significant proportion of people to use the word "fag" a particular way - and perhaps if this use is employed in significant new literature, just about any new meaning might make its way into a dictionary.
     
  10. DefectiveCreative

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    Yep, that's right about cigarettes, and in the UK a faggot is also a kind of meatball:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    The word has no meaning to me aside from the demeanor from which a person chooses to use it. If a person is friendly towards me then I can take the word as a jest. If a person is vindictive towards me then i can take the word as an insult.
     
  12. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    That's how I see it too Satya.
    People around here still use the word for cigarettes now and then. That word sure has been bounced around!
     
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  13. under skies

    under skies Community Member

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    Language is subjective, and depending on how you use a word, it really could mean anything. At that, half the time, what people actually say is not what they mean. Therefore, I don't think there is much of a point in getting offended when someone drops a word without really thinking about it.

    Taking into context the intention behind the word is much more practical. Technicalities won't get you anywhere.



    That being said, a faggot is a bundle of sticks. I suppose I understand how it garnered its more modern and more frequently used meaning, although I neither understand why anyone would bother thinking up euphemisms for the word "homosexual" or ever say it.
     
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  14. Ecton

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    I take your point, under skies, but I do tend to get upset with people who use a derogatory word unknowingly, because they tend to be promoting a negative meme through ignorance. Even if they aren't aware of the meaning, the phrase eventually associates through people to an end point that gets the original message.

    In other words, a word caries both the meaning of its intent, AND the meaning of the cultural pressure that put it in speaker/writer's cache. I get disturbed when people are not aware of the latter, or generally agree with it.

    "Indian-giver," for example, said over and over again, serves an immediate purpose but also a larger social conditioning function.
     
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  15. Timeless

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    Did this take place in the Castro District?
     
  16. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    It's that "W e s t b o r o Ba p t istChu rc h" that is notorious around the country for going to funerals of soldiers with signs that say "God hates fags! God hates America!" and so on.

    They are here in San Francisco to protest homosexual and jewish interests and various other nefarious and evil elements that have corrupted america and taken it away from the righteous path they so eloquently represent.

    Fortunately, San Francisco immediately hit the nail on the head and hit back with some absurdist protests.

    Here was the counter-protest from January:

    http://laughingsquid.com/san-franciscos-answer-to-westboro-baptist-church/
     
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  17. under skies

    under skies Community Member

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    I would say, in this situation, that the person using the word isn't worth getting upset over. I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't know any functional adjectives.

    People are going to be ignorant and say ignorant, offensive things, whether it has to do with sexual orientation or sex or ethnic background or whatever. These things shouldn't be said in the first place, but there is not much you can do about it.

    I always just like to consider the intention in any negative situation because everything said and done means something different to everyone. I just like trying to be more optimistic about it. Maybe it's a foolish coping mechanism. I just don't like dwelling on this kind of stuff.
     
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  18. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    I understand, under skies, that makes a lot of sense.
     
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  19. under skies

    under skies Community Member

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    Yeah, sorry if I sounded redundant. When I read your response and then re-read my initial post, it sounded a bit cold in a way. I just wanted to clarify myself.

    I agree with you, as well, that it is really unfortunate and ignorance only perpetuates a negative and often wrong perception. Like I said, I just try to shrug it off if possible.
     
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  20. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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