...wether or not its derogatory depends entirely on the context and intent of the user, and to another extent upon the audience. Conservatives and Republicans for years used the therm "liberal" as a derogative even as it was the correct term to use for their opponents (I still remember George Bush Sr. leaning heavily on the "L" as he sneered-out the word ;-)
Yeah well fortunately Conservatives and Republicans are not the arbiters of what words mean. A correct word is one that's correct for everybody whether some group or groups like it or not. Oh, and anyone with Bush's record of bigotry and ignorance can only ever flatter those they seek to criticise.
Calling someone a "Nazi" is often used as a derogatory even though that is the technically correct term to use to describe someone with certain socio-political beliefs.
Well calling someone a Nazi who happened to be a member of that party in the Third Reich is not a derogatory statement but one of fact. Calling someone a Nazi today can be a derogatory statement but it's not one of fact because it's an incorrect use of the term. My point is that you can have one or other but not both at the same time.
'homosexual' CAN be both a correct term and a derogatory term at the same time.
No I'm saying it can't be. When used to describe a same sex practitioner for example or to explain what 'gay' means its not derogatory but a statement of fact. It's obvious from your example that you're getting confused between correct and incorrect uses just like six did. If you call someone a bastard because you're describing someone who was borne to unmarried parents like William the Conqueror then its a correct use of the term. If you call them a bastard simply because you think they're unpleasant then it's derogatory because it's not a true statement. More generally the conclusions you draw from one word do not necessarily apply to another because what is and isn't a derogatory term is really determined by what the great big silent majority find acceptable or not.
Lucky you. We only get to experience His Analness from the outside, while you seem to have the *gag* inside track. Pardon the "gallows humor", oh authority on which hole to poke and where to buy children.
I know I am going to regret dipping into this again. Yes, I know, yoyo, I am a glutton for punishment.
"When used to describe a same sex practitioner for example or to explain what 'gay' means its not derogatory but a statement of fact."
This point, in and of itself, if the user is indeed honestly not intending to use it derogatorily, is not in dispute with anyone with an ounce of sense. We get it. Does anyone still here not get this?
Now, a year or so ago, the guy who had been sitting next to me at work for yonks showed me a picture of his family. He looks nothing like either of his two brothers who look a heck of a lot like each other. I pointed this curiosity out, and he, without much concern, admitted that he had been born "out of wedlock" and that his "father" had skipped off immediately and his mother eventually met a much nicer guy whom she married. We have talked since then about issues around his being born "out of wedlock". It is very obvious that he is in all correctness a bastard. No one would confuse this fact, but in the several times we have spoken of this I have never referred to him as a "bastard" and I would never refer to him as such because no matter how I tried to use the word "bastard" in a sentence to describe him, it would sound to him and to me as if I held negative feelings about his illegitimacy that I don't, in fact, feel. Are you still with me?
My step-brother, who is also one of my favorite people on this planet, admitted to me early on that he was gay. Having come from a pretty conservative area of the country, this was still a bit of a scandal. Being a product of my time and region, I myself had ambiguous feelings about homosexuality at that time. But my step-brother, simply by the fact of being the great human being that he was, helped me to start dealing with these ambiguous feelings earlier than I might have when he came out to me. Admittedly, it was not such a huge shock, because even at that age he had mannerisms that some gay men (certainly not all) often display. This was as obvious to others as it was to me, and he was often called "fag", "homo", and yes, when some of these people were moved to moments of eloquence they would even refer to him loudly as "homosexual" (always drawing out the "sex-u-al" part for effect). I, of course, received some of this abuse as well as I associated with him, but that is beside the point. These boys and girls, if I remember, rarely if ever referred to him as "gay", though I am sure we were all familiar with the term. He eventually made the brave choice to come out publicly in his last year of high school, which was in retrospect I think a mistake, and he was still called a "homo", "homosexual" and sometimes even "gay".
So yes, the word "homosexual" can be a correct term and a derogatory term at the same time. And yes, when used, in your words: "to explain what 'gay' means it's not derogatory but a statement of fact." However, I will probably not be using this explanatory device when my 10 year old asks me what "gay" means, because he very likely won't know what "homosexual" means either.
Don't get me wrong (I feel I need to add this "don't get me wrong" because you so often have), I do have an idea of where you are coming from, and certainly "homosexual" when used clinically is not derogatory just by it's being uttered, if the user does not intend it to be so. But that certainly doesn't mean I would use the word in regular discourse because the word has a derogatory sound to many people, gay and straight alike. And if I heard someone using this word with regularity in conversation, I would have to assume they don't get out much, or that more likely they are deliberately using that word for some reason, a very likely one being that they are bigoted towards gays or wish to appear so.
Now, where is my morning coffee..
_________________________ We are STILL what we repeatedly do - insists Aristotle
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