losing the "gay voice" (and sirens)

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Feb 29 16:29:07 UTC 2008

I watched it last night at your recommendation since I'm in a later
time zone.

It was very fast, but I'm pretty sure Jon Stewart referred to a
rotating light (a "flashing light" like on the top of fire engines) as
a siren. I've always suspected people refer to rotating lights that
way because we don't really have a good word for them.

BTW, why are we in trouble if gay people don't have the gay voice?
Neither I nor any of the other three gay people I hang around with
have it at all. I tried once or twice to use it just to see if I could
but completely unable to. BB

On Feb 28, 2008, at 9:34 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> is it
> the case that they taught themselves not to use it, a la your humble
> correspondent and black voice, or is it the case that they didn't have
> it to begin with? If it's the former case, then there's clearly a way
> around the problem. Unfortunately, I don't have the Nunberg-like balls
> (he once asked me why I don't talk black) to ask my friend why he
> doesn't talk gay, I unfortunately have nothing useful to say about
> that possibility. But, if it's the latter case, well, Houston, we have
> a problem.
> If you didn't see tonight's Daily Show, _please do catch tomorrow's
> re-run_!!!

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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