April 11th, 2007

Subcultural Epithets

If anyone here has some knowledge of English-language history (specifically to the British Isles), I'd appreciate some help:

When exactly did the meaning of the word gay begin to shift from "having or showing a merry, lively mood; bright or showy" to "homosexual"? During this period, was there evidence of prescriptive resistance toward the new usage, or was it simply a gradual shift towards reinterpreting a metaphorical epithet as the actual definition? i.e.: "He's quite a gal ol' chap, isn't he?" (To the uninitiated: "He's quite a merry, lively ol' chap, isn't he?"; to a member of the subculture: "He's homosexual, isn't he?"). In fact, when did dictionaries first include the "new" definition of gay? Is it still acceptable in any regions/social circles to use the "old" definition?

Is there sign of a similar colloquialism for bisexual emerging?

Finally, in the characteristics of their markedness, is "to not be gay/bisexual", perfectly synonymous with "to be straight"? What are the differing connotations? Is the term ex-gay ("formerly homosexual") in widespread use?


(cross-posted to livejournal_uk)
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    Peter, Paul and Mary - Where Have all the Flowers Gone?
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My crappy (probably) essay

Right I've got to hand in my second french assignment tomorrow. We had to write 250 words about having a drunk driving accident and "what we should do about it" or something that effect. I've only had 4 lessons fo far and it moves VERY fast. It has taken me many hours of work to get the following together but I'm still sure it's full of mistakes. I'd be grateful if anyone fluent in French could possibly take a look at this and point out any obvious errors!


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Latin Help

One of my friends is looking to create an academic journal for his PoliSci fraternity. He wants to entitle it "Opus Politicum." Is that the correct usage of "politicum?"


(no subject)

This post might be completley dumb but:

In any language you know, what are common names for animals? Whether it be a dog, cat, fish, etc.

Ex.: In American English, a popular name for a dog would be Pepper (I think? haha)


Could somebody tell me in simple terms (that a non-French speaker could understand) how the French spoken in Quebec is different from the French you learn in an American classroom?

Would a person who'd learnt French in the classroom be able to understand native Quebec speakers?

(no subject)

Rightio, so I'm back learning Spanish, and French being my other language, its the smaller variations which are starting to bug me.

"If I were a millionaire" - this construction takes the future tense, right? As in, 'Si seré millonario'

When I write, "If John calls," do I do the same thing? I'm just really confused about the whole future supposition thing.
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Géill Slí

quote translation advice

I just saw the movie Mar Adentro, about Ramón Sampedro. And there was a part where his father said sólo hay una cosa peor que ver morir a un hijo, que éste se quiera morir.

I'm putting it in my quote book for speech class, but I was trying to think of the best way to translate it. Maybe "the only thing worse than seeing your son die, is seeing him want to die"? However, this isn't a mirror of the original structure, and I'm quavering because I wanted to use "see" (or the same verb) twice for the emphasis, but we usually watch, not see, someone die ... yet it doesn't sound good to say "watch someone wanting."

Thoughts? I'm just looking for something that sounds as nice as it does in Spanish, but I'm obviously not a translator. =P

P.S. Were parts of that movie really in Catalan and Galician?? Woh that may explain a lot. o_O

Question for the Germans out there...

Accidentally posted it in my regular journal, initially...

As you can probably tell by looking at the music noted on the entry, the 80s classic 99 Luft Balloons just came up. Poking around a little bit online I've seen people noting that there are several differences between the German and English versions of the song, but I'm nowhere near good enough in German to really pick them up and nobody seems to be really detailing what said differences are. Is it just a matter of liberties taken to make a song still sound like a song once translated, or are there serious content differences between the two songs?

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    Nena - 99 Luft Balloons
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OHC - Haruhi

Reading Hangul

I'm having a lot of trouble getting used to hangul enough to 'sound' words out, or even just read a word without having to check my notes for every second one. Even with words that I know already, I have to look up the correct spelling. I realize that this is more about memorization and practice than anything else, but I would appreciate any tips or advice. Maybe some people could tell me how they got themselves used to a different form of writing? I'm trying to teach myself Korean (and there really isn't anyone to teach me it around here), so even what someone's teacher did to teach their class would be helpful.

Thank you in advance!

A similar post was made to learn_korean with slightly different wording, so if you're seeing this twice then I apologize.