Sunday, 24 June 2012

How to blend in the Gaybourhood

What sort of word is Gayborhood? I just came across it in this article from Wikipedia's article on Gay Village more or less answers the question, tho the reader is warned, This article has multiple issues. Before I begin my next rant,  encyclopaedia articles are expected to be focussed on a single-issue, not multiple issues. This leads me to think that issue is being used differently. And as Jimmy Wales implores us to Please help us improve it, one can only suspect that issues is negative. Never mind the big scary exclamation mark accompanying his warning. 

Since when did issues have negative connotations? Why has it become a euphemism for problem? Are we unwilling to admit that there is a problem, so we impoverish our language by appropriating one word to mean another? When, in modern parlance, does problem mean problem, issue mean issue and issue mean problem? I take issue with this realignment: I suspect that the phrase to take issue with something, having long existed in the language, paved the way for this usage shift. We only take issue with negative things.

And when we see that something is the cause of somebody's issues, we can be sure it's negative. Why? Because English uses cause for negative things. Have a look at this list - pretty convincing, huh? The following sentences would be a pretty ironic uses of cause, don't you think?
* I was just wondering what the cause of your happiness is? 
* What caused you to pass your exam?

He caused me so much joy that I decided that I wanted us to live together.
Really! And are you?
My dear. We are sooooo living together. But it's not always easy, you know. You know what he's like. I love him so much but some of his attitudes cause a great deal of confusion at times. And his druggy twin caused us a lot of pain. He caused so many difficulties for everyone around him. 
[dot dot dot or blah-di-blah-di-blah or yadayadayada, as you wish.]
And how's life in the Gaybourhood?
Well, it's faaaaaabulous of course. I mean like it's hottie central, especially during the more clement seasons when their cut offs are so well, cut off, that ... Even the older guys are cause for concern. These ole boys have really looked after themselves. And there's no way they'd show off like this outside the gaybourhood.
Splashing out on tangelos at brunch in the gaybourhood may seem a bit ditsy or even prissy, but rest assured, all the main words in this sentence are blends, a.k.a. portmanteau words, you know: breakfast + lunch = brunch, smoke + fog = smog. More at Montgomery College.

Long live the gaybourhood and all who sail in her.