Descriptive Essay : Offensive Word

1030 Words Oct 20th, 2016 5 Pages
Caitlyn Ralston
Professor Jelinek
ENC1102
10-20-16
Offensive Word Essay There are many things in this world that change over time. One of those things being the words and language we speak. We may think we know what a word means but everything has a past, and a hundred years ago that word could have meant something completely different. Words that we find very offensive and demeaning today have had a different meaning in the past and could have been a very positive and happy word. One of the many words that have changed its meaning over the years is the word “gay”. This word has definitely changed over the years and we use it in a completely different way today than we did even as recently as a hundred years ago. The word “gay” has been used for hundreds of years even though it has had a different spelling and meaning. The word originated in the twelfth century in France and was originally spelled gai or, gaye. When the word was spelled like this its meaning was “happy, or cheerful”. Similar spellings have been found across many languages and in many different time periods but this is said to be the original and the version that most languages took from. The word has been used in languages from French to German to Portuguese. Although the spelling in most of these languages varied pretty significantly, and so did the meaning that those languages assigned to the word. If you were to walk on the street today in the United States and ask people what they thought the…

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