By: Michael Yapujian
The English language is a funny thing.
Two words spelled completely differently can be synonymous—a homonym.
Words that are spelled exactly the same can have opposite meanings—a homophone.
And possibly the most interesting part of the English language is its versatility throughout different generations.
When I walk through the hallways, I’m not eavesdropping, but as I go to my locker, I hear: “Oh my God, he is so retarded!” “Why are you being so gay?” “Are you retarded?!”
I could walk up to each and every one of these offenders and say, “Excuse me, do you even know what the word ‘retarded’ means?” but after asking this question once and receiving the answer “stupid,” I knew right away how ignorant our generation has become.
We live in a world of followers and sheep who would rather mimic other’s actions without regard to the repercussions.
The major problem is the inability to process thoughts on our own. If we hear one person using the word “retarded” to mean stupid, idiotic, or silly, we also will perceive the word in the same context, disregarding the true meaning.
Call me old-fashioned, but I like knowing the definition of a word before I begin to use it in everyday conversation—especially when it is every other word that comes out of my mouth.
Not only does the improper use of words offend the public, but it makes the speaker seem uneducated. The same goes for the use of the word “gay” to mean uncool or wimpy.
And in a time when “omg” and “lol” have been formally added to dictionaries as words, I am not surprised to find that the words “retarded” and “gay” have lost their true, not-so-offensive meanings and have become synonymous with “stupid” and “lame.”
Soon, the whole world will be filled with ignorance and we will be so “retarded” that we’ll fill dictionaries with “gay” words.