The Meaning, Evolution, and Trends in the Use and Understanding of the Word Gay in Australian English

Paper Type:  Article
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  733 Words
Date:  2021-06-11

1. What is the main issue the author is addressing in this research?

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The central theme that the author addresses is the meaning, evolution, and trends in the use and understanding of the word gay in Australian English.

2 (a). How did the author collect the information that he used for his study?

The primary data collection method is by the use of questionnaires administered through online debates in the form of 20 statements asking the Australian English speaking respondents to give their knowledge and opinions on the meaning and the new usage of the word gay. The participants in the study are 111 individuals comprising of 58 females and 53 males with the ages ranging from 18 to 70 under the classes 18-30, 31-50 and 51-70 CITATION Lal07 \l 1033 (Lalor & Rendle-Short, 2007). Randomness to avert bias was achieved through the drawing of the participants randomly from different settings such as the neighborhood of the researchers, public service places, and the Australia National Library.

2 (b). What are the main findings and what evidence does he use to demonstrate each of them?

The key finding of the research is that the term gay takes the conformation of a polysemy due to the presence of diverse meanings with the age of the participants being the determining factor in the usage and the interpretation of the concept. Evidence of the result is the majority (54.86%) of the participants attributing the term with some negativity. Secondly, some people define the word gay by associating it with the term "gay person" evident from the 14.05% of the participants who supported it. Thirdly, a significant number of individuals (12.70%) have no idea on the meaning and usage of the term. The findings show that the leading synonym for the word gay is homosexual (2nd definition) and have a negative sense (3rd meaning). The evidence that the differing interpretation and use of the word is a factor age difference, researchers says that old people do not associate the word with the 3-rd meaning.

3. What does he conclude and how can you make sense of this by making connections to your experience?

The author concludes that the young Australians below the age of 30 have given a new connotation to the term gay whose meaning depends on and differs with contexts. In the instance where the word gay is applicable for referring inanimate subjects, people take the term to mean feeble, lame or ill. On the other hand, applying the word in implying a male subject leads to the word being synonymous to the word homosexual. I concur with the studys conclusion being a youth because I feel the words meaning is reliant in the context. In my opinion, the use of the word gay can be offensive to some people whether in its positive or negative sense. In the present time, the word gay is not the common word for describing happy emotions or bad things it is only understandable in homosexual perspective.

Part 2: The Relationship between Words and Meaning

1. What do you think the relationship is between words and meaning in this paper?

The relationship between words and meaning is very powerful, and it has a strong effect on understanding and interpreting the meaning of a sentence. When I first read the article, I was having one idea about the word gay from the homosexual perspective. As my reading and exploration of the article became insightful, I realized that the word gay has other different meanings in regards to various contexts. The relationship between words and their meanings changes with language trend depending on generation and their ages. Consequently, no matter how many people are using these meanings, the most important thing is that the idea in my mind starts to change depending on context or environment. One of the great things about the language in general is the structure of the word and its meaning in a specific way. Following this, it is crucial to understand and discover some of the distinct changes in the language trend to adapt and fit in the current growing and diverse generation. It is also important to be conversant with the words, their meanings and relationship when using Australian English to avoid misunderstand some quotes and to know the impact it can have to different people during conversation.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Lalor, T., & Rendle-Short, J. (2007). That's So Gay: A Contemporary Use of Gay in Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 27(2):147-173.

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The Meaning, Evolution, and Trends in the Use and Understanding of the Word Gay in Australian English. (2021, Jun 11). Retrieved from

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