Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jan 30 03:43:13 UTC 2011

At 6:55 PM -0500 1/29/11, Ann Burlingham wrote:
>On Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 8:24 AM, David Barnhart
><dbarnhart at highlands.com> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       David Barnhart <dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM>
>>  Subject:      homosexuality
>>  In the news this morning I heard that the word _homosexuality_ is to be
>>  avoided as it carries negative connotations.
>Yes, of course.
>Or, to put it another way, it's rarely used by anyone comfortable with
>the existence of lesbian and gay (or bisexual, let alone transgender)
>people. Funnily enough, I was reading "How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract
>In Fifteen Easy Steps" at
>http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/Articles/000,016.htm today, where he
>puts it thus:
>"To reinforce this point, anti-gay writers make extensive use of the
>term "homosexual" throughout their tracts. By constantly emphasizing
>"homosexual" instead of using the terms "gay" or "lesbian", the sexual
>component of gays and lesbians are emphasized above all other aspects
>of their lives. And the more you portray gays and lesbians as
>sex-obsessed homosexuals, maybe your readers won't notice the irony of
>your tract being obsessed with the sex lives of supposedly
>"sex-obsessed" people."

A little while ago there was a survey that showed far higher
proportions of people accepting "gays serving openly in the military
than "homosexuals" doing so; I forget the exact wording, but that was
the gist.  I wonder what would happen if someone did a survey on the
acceptability of open heterosexuals serving...


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