Queer is another one of those once perfectly good words from our language that has been demonized, vilified, and stricken by political correctness.
We don’t have to look back very far in history to see what the word has meant and how it has been most commonly used in our vernacular. I looked in the 1992 edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Here are the definitions, as they existed then:
1. Deviating from the expected or normal; strange: (a queer situation).
2. Odd or unconventional, as in behavior; eccentric.
3. Of a questionable nature or character; suspicious.
4. Slang. Fake; counterfeit.
5. Feeling slightly ill; queasy.
6. Offensive slang. Gay; homosexual.
So as recent as just 23 years ago, the normal and most prevalent uses of the word queer was not gender related or offensive although it had made its way into the derogatory world of offensive slang.
But today, everyone seems to be afraid to utter the word. It is often considered “hate speech.” Instead we use alternate words like “gay” in reference to homosexuality (by the way, most people are reticent to use the word “homosexual”). In fact even the meaning of the word “gay” has changed beyond its original definition so that no one ever uses it anymore to describe cheerfulness or merriment. Political correctness, as a tool in the hands of the ignorant, is a dangerous and destructive weapon. I decided a long time ago to purposefully avoid the use of PC language and just be content with the language the way I learned it. That makes a lot of people uncomfortable or even angry, but it is liberating and it makes me
The irony is that, after the PC police vilified the word “queer” and effectively banned it from our language, the homosexual community co-opted it for their own use and now, unabashedly, wears it as a badge of honor. However, they do not want anyone on the right to use it. That’s just like the “N” word that the black community cannot stand to hear from any white lips, but they use it freely and commonly among themselves. The “N” word, by the way, is more PC nonsense. We can’t say the real word without fear, but we have universally replaced it with an acceptable substitute that means THE SAME THING.
So I still use the word “queer.” I guess that makes me queer because my use of the word is certainly a strange deviation from the normal. I guess I am also gay because I am cheerful and happy about my freedom of speech that is not hindered or controlled by political correctness.
It seems to me that the letter “Q” is a “queer” letter in itself although I wouldn’t call it a “gay” letter. Do you realize that, out of 26 letters in the English language, it is the only one that cannot be useful unless it is followed by the letter “U?” So it’s not a gay letter; it can’t be very happy. It is severely handicapped and it cannot stand alone or function without the help of a crutch. Why do we need Q anyway? We could do nicely without it. We could easily replace the letter Q as used in words like queer, queen, quit, quack, and torque, with the letter K as in kweer, kween, kwit, kwack, and tork. But this is all digression.
I wish people would just leave our language alone. The whole PC thing makes me sick; I think I’m feeling a little queer.