Heard on MSNBC

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Sat May 9 15:34:52 UTC 2009

Herb Stahlke wrote:
> Rachel Maddow frequently uses the phrase "the gay" derisively of
> people, usually conservative Republicans, who think homosexuality is
> an acquired behavior.  This evening Keith Olberman used "the funny" in
> a similar way when talking about whether Obama would be humorous at
> the Correspondents' Dinner.  Is this use of "the" + adjective a new
> pattern?  Obviously "the" + adjective is a common construction that's
> been around a long time as in "The difficult is done at once; the
> impossible takes a little longer."  It's this derisive or ironic use
> of the construction that feels new.

It's been around in the blogosphere for a while now. For purposes of
googling, the spelling would be "teh gay" or "teh ghey".

Alice Faber                                       faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                            tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                               fax (203) 865-8963

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

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