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Using dehumanizing terms that historically mean something else - Research Paper Example

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This is to say that the concept of language is always evolving. The words that were used in the 17th and 18th century to mean one thing may not necessarily retain the same meaning in the 21st century. With regard…
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Using dehumanizing terms that historically mean something else
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Download file to see previous pages Once people start using a word in a certain way the new usage becomes widespread and with time, becomes an official adaptation. Although the word has various meanings, it is usually within a similar concept.
The word “queer” is one of the words used for various meanings today. The word has evolved over time. With every passing generation, a new interpretation of the word has risen. The Oxford dictionary states that the word can be used as an adjective to mean strange or odd, as a noun to mean Homosexual, or as a verb meaning spoil or ruin. However, the dictionary puts emphasis on the overall usage of the word as a homosexual reference. There is an observation of the reference in many cultures in the world over a long period. “In recent years, however, gay people have taken the word queer and deliberately used it in place of gay or homosexual, in an attempt, by using the word positively, to deprive it of its negative power (“Oxford University Press,” 1).”
In historical reference of the homosexual population, the word was brought forth in a derogatory manner. In the British world, it indicates that someone or something has a peculiar characteristic about them. The 1980s was the point in which the use of the word, in the sense in question, arose. This caused a big stir within the gay and lesbian community. This led to the formation of an action organization in the 1990s at the grass root level in New York with the aim of fighting against the occurrence of Homophobia and preserving the right of gay and lesbian persons (Eaklor, 72). It is then that the group took ownership of the word “queer” as previously stated to transfer its use to a proud sense rather than its previous derogatory meaning. Therefore, the younger generation in the 21st century regards the word as an expression of open-mindedness with regard to same-sex attractions.
The mainstream media has also adopted the usage of the term in the same sense. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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