Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Squall »

According to the dictionary, the words 'gay' and 'Japanese' are both noun and adjective. However, what should be simple is actually difficult. [:S]
cntrational wrote:Occasionally, adjectives used as nouns to describe cultures or people sound rude in certain contexts. "He's a Japanese" sounds off, "He's a Japanese person" is okay. "T.
If I understand:
"He's a Japanese" (noun) is bad.
"He's Japanese" (adjective) is fine.
Right?
Thrice Xandvii wrote:Far more logical would have been that "homosexuality doesn't exist."
By analogy:
"Humans don't exist on that planet." is bad.
"Humanity doesn't exist on that planet." is fine.
:wat: ??

If I cannot understand, I have to learn the advice.
I must never use nationalities, races and the word 'gay' as nouns. They must be adjectives. Right?
Thrice Xandvii wrote:However, I find the fact that homosexuality doesn't even exist to be really implausible unless your con-culture doesn't exist on Earth. There is a long history of homosexual behavior in human and non-human species alike on this planet, so to say it doesn't exist seems really weird, but that is completely aside the point of the phrasing.
Does homosexual behavior exist in all human cultures (without learning from other cultures)?

Anyway, conworlds and concultures are very complex and I cannot describe about everything and I have to neglect some details.
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Thrice Xandvii »

For clarity, I was referring to the behaviors that accompany homosexuality, not our modern conception of the term. Animals having sexual contact with same-gendered animals is pretty ubiquitous. But, it is entirely likely that wasn't at all what the poster I was referring to even meant, so had this not spawned a discussion, I may well have removed my tangent.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Thrice Xandvii »

Squall wrote:"Humans don't exist on that planet." is bad.
"Humanity doesn't exist on that planet." is fine.
:wat: ??
That's taking it a bit too far. Both are fine.
Does homosexual behavior exist in all human cultures (without learning from other cultures)?
I don't have anywhere near enough information about all cultures on the planet to answer definitively, but seeing as how it is an innate predilection and not a learned behavior, I'd say yes. I know for me, I knew I was gay well before I knew what to call it or what that entailed. I would assume other people understand that they are attracted to same-sex persons... whether or not the culture they are in allows that type of behavior is a very different story of course. Where it is highly stigmatized or where there are strong social pressures to marry or father children in exclusion to relations with same-sex persons I'm sure it is very rarely outwardly displayed. Of course, this makes it hard to know if these types of cultures have homosexuals, since we can't know what's in their minds.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Dormouse559 »

Squall wrote:I must never use nationalities, races and the word 'gay' as nouns. They must be adjectives. Right?
No, not necessarily. It's a complex subject. It's generally all right to nominalize a nationality when it refers to the entire group ("the French", "the English"). If a nationality has a distinct plural ("American" vs. "Americans", "Belgian" vs. Belgians") or a dedicated noun ("Dane", "Finn"), it can generally be used as a noun for smaller groups or individuals. With racial terms, you have to be more careful, but the plural referring to the entire group is usually the least controversial of the nominal usages (which isn't to say it can't be controversial; it's just less likely). With "gay" (and probably other words, though none come to mind right now), it's a good rule of thumb to just avoid the nominal usage.

I'm sure other native speakers will have a different understanding than me, and even in my own idiolect, there are some exceptions to what I just said.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Salmoneus »

"Black" is very similar to "gay" imd. You CAN say 'blacks' and 'gays', but you need to do it sensitively (I think squall suffered by using the word in the context of an already seemingly-homophobic comment) and in the right environments. And if you say 'the blacks' or 'the gays', you're an outright bigot. 'Asian' has the potential to go that way, but has the respectability of a capital letter and a proper noun behind it (I think IMD 'Asian' as in 'people from asia' as a geographical term is fine, but 'Asian' where the intent is 'people of a subcontinental ethnic origin' as a race isn't).
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Salmoneus »

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Does homosexual behavior exist in all human cultures (without learning from other cultures)?
I don't have anywhere near enough information about all cultures on the planet to answer definitively, but seeing as how it is an innate predilection and not a learned behavior, I'd say yes.
Well now... that's a bit tricky, isn't it? IS homosexual behaviour not learnt behaviour?
Is ANY sexual behaviour truly innate? I mean, if you raised a boy and a girl in isolation with no information from outside, what would happen if they were attracted to one another? Would they, as it were, instinctively understand the physics of the transaction? Or would they, as I suspect, fumble around a bit, investigate the topic in an empirical, trial-and-error fashion, and eventually work out something mutually satisfactory to both parties?

Certainly, outside the realm of actual coitus, which seems almost universal among cultures, sexual behaviour is learned and culture-bound. Most obviously, oral sex is intimately conjoined to culture, climate, economics etc. Until the modern era, oral sex in Europe was considered a greater taboo than sodomy, for obvious reasons. [Presumably the Romans were a lot more keen on it, since they had much more appealing genitals] Likewise, I seem to recall that at least one mediaeval Indian sex guide goes so far as to consider double (vaginal and anal) penetration, yet never suggests oral sex at all.

Similarly, I believe sodomy was much less common in earlier eras. Famously, among the Greeks sodomy was the exception even in homosexual encounters, with intercrural stimulation the norm.

Indeed, it's worth pointing out that although coitus is near-universal, it only recently attained its modern popularity. At least as late as the 18th century, manual sex was more common, or even just simultaneous masturbation. If you look at Pepys, for instance, a man who was constantly obsessing over sex, having affairs, having quickies in closets, going to wife-swapping orgies and so on, he almost exclusively was just rubbing, groping, stroking and so on, with relatively little actual penetration of anything. This makes a lot of sense when you consider a) the medical complications of venereal diseases in an era before modern medicine, and b) the unreliability and expense of contraception in the period.

So I'm not sure at all that any sexual behaviour is actually innate and non-learned.

In terms of attraction rather than sex... well, are we sure that's innate and non-learned? I don't think there's actually any scientific reason to think this, let alone be certain of it. Indeed, the science seems pretty clearly pointed in the other direction. The biggest research on the subject, the swedish identical twin studies (the swedish twin studies study all the identical twins in sweden, throughout their lives... 7,600 people, more or less) showed that for men, only 35-40% of sexuality could be attributed to genetics, and that for women it was less than 20%. For both men and women, about 60% of the cause was found to be individual life-experiences (things like histories of illness, trauma, influences from friends, nature of earliest sexual experiences and so forth). (The difference between men and women was that women were also influenced by shared experiences in their upbringing (things like parental attitudes, social attitudes, socioeconomic conditions, etc - basically what this means is that non-identical female twins, sexually speaking, look much more like identical twins than they would if genes were the only reason for their similarities), whereas men weren't influenced by these in the slightest.
[Other twin studies with smaller sample sizes vary in how much of sexuality they ascribe to genetic factors, but they mostly seem to agree with the swedes, and all seem to put it at less than 50%, even for men]

This tells us that on the one hand there are clear genetic propensities toward homosexuality, but on the other hand that most of an individual's homosexuality is determined by what happens to them in their pre-sexual life, rather than anything innate in them.

We also know from looking at other cultures that some cultures have very different levels of same-sex preference being expressed. On the one hand, those with less homosexuality can easily be waved away as 'they're all repressed!', but those with more homosexuality are trickier. Most famously, in ancient Athens and some other Greek cities, male homosexual attraction was considered the norm, and openly expressed. So we must conclude one of:
a) lots of Greeks were pretending to get hard-ons from looking at boys
b) a vast percentage of modern society secretly fancies boys, but they just don't admit it
c) there has been a colossal shift in population genetics over the centuries
or
d) sexual preference is not innate, but is instead culture-dependent.

I know for me, I knew I was gay well before I knew what to call it or what that entailed. I would assume other people understand that they are attracted to same-sex persons... whether or not the culture they are in allows that type of behavior is a very different story of course. Where it is highly stigmatized or where there are strong social pressures to marry or father children in exclusion to relations with same-sex persons I'm sure it is very rarely outwardly displayed. Of course, this makes it hard to know if these types of cultures have homosexuals, since we can't know what's in their minds.
It's worth pointing out that male homosexual behaviour is extremely common in many species of animal... but male homosexual preference is much more controversial. Indeed, according to some papers I can find, it's never been demonstrated in any non-human species, except among domesticated animals (where it may have been indirectly selected for) and in zoos or other extreme situations. It does not appear to occur among apes. [as opposed to homosexual behaviour, which is commonplace among apes]

It's also worth noting that apparently many studies of 'primitive' societies have failed to find evidence of male homosexual preference, despite finding evidence of male homosexual behaviour, including in socially-approved ways. [Eg, apparently male homosexual behaviour is near-universal among adolescent Yanomamo males, where it plays an important role in the formation of adult alliances, both personal and political... but apparently researchers still haven't been able to find adult men who display homosexual preferences] - and it's worth noting that this can be the case even when researchers have found other taboo behaviours like bestiality, adultery, or indeed murder, etc - so we're on slightly shaky ground if we want to write this all off as 'they just don't tell researchers about that'.

According to one peer-reviewed study I can find, social concepts of male homosexual preference are proportional to the degree of social stratification in that society. It may be selected for either culturally or genetically (there are a lot of studies suggesting that genes relating to male homosexuality may also increase female fertility).



So we certainly can't say that there definitely ARE any human societies without gay people. But on the other hand, I don't think it would be wise at all to say that there AREN'T.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Ànradh »

Honestly, Squall, there's no hard and fast rule to it; frankly, if you didn't intend to insult anyone, I don't think anyone will care all that much.
Sal, you've raised a few good points I haven't considered at all for my conworld. I think something more nuanced is in order now.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Salmoneus »

Unfortunately, due to the political climate it can be difficult to raise these issues - anything more nuanced than "gay people intentionally and willfully choose to be gay because they're evil and/or stupid and/or led astray by evil secular society" or "gayness didn't evolve, it was created in the moment of the big bang and has been present in immutable and invariant form everywhere ever since, and nobody can do anything about it as it is not subject to the normal causal order of things, so it can never be created or destroyed but only recognised (and if you have it and you don't recognise it properly then your head will explode), and people only believe otherwise because they're evil and/or stupid and/or led astray by evil non-secular society", then both sides will hate you...


However, I think it's worth reiterating five things that are very strange about homosexuality as we currently conceive of it (I'm not saying that makes this conceptions false, just that they're different from most conceptions):

A) homosexuality is personal and essential, not situational
Our society believes that men fancy other men because they are men-who-fancy-other-men. It is more common I think to believe that fancying other men, and sex with other men, are features of social situations, whether that's due to necessity (imprisonment, army service), bonding relationships (eg between adolescent boys, or between adolescents and father-figures), or rituals (eg religious rituals, fertility rituals (the papuan belief that sodomy in a garden is what makes vegetables grow), or initiation rites (papuan semen-drinking rituals, or some 20th century fraternity hazing rituals)), and that when the men involved are outside of those situations they will not be in these relationships. Our society admits that these situations can occur, but views them as marginal, as 'not counting', and as conceptually secondary (eg the fear of prison inmates that enjoying gay sex too much in prison may 'turn them gay' even once they have been freed).


B) homosexuality is discrete, and specific to the individual
Notwithstanding some polite handwaving around the edges, our society mostly believes that people are mostly either gay or not gay, and that this is an important distinction between some people and other people. Historically, and probably in most societies, sexuality has instead been seen as a continuum of gradual variations, without clear-cut distinctions between one 'type' of person and another.

C) homosexuality is permanent
Our society generally believes that if you're gay, you're gay. Not only can you not 'cure' it (or 'catch' it), you can't 'grow out of' it either (or into it). [So, eg, no, enjoying prison sex can't turn you gay. If you're 'straight' when you go in and 'gay' when you come out, that must just mean you were gay all along without realising it. (Another thing there: it never means you're straight all along without realising it. When there is a prima facie change, we always believe the gay identity must be the true one, never the mistake or the confusion)] But generally, historically and cross-culturally, people believe that people can change their personalities over time, including their tastes and their interests. Plus, of course, seeing it as situation inherently means it's non-permanent.

D) homosexuality is an exclusive attraction to the same sex
The odd thing about our 'homosexuals', historically speaking, is not that they like the same sex, but that they don't like the opposite sex. Our society sees homosexuality as the primary non-heterosexuality, and bisexuality as a freak borderline case that many people believe doesn't really exist. [Fun fact? The people who experience most domestic abuse are bisexual people in relationships with homosexual people. Apparently, the idea that bisexuals are either homosexuals in denial, or else heterosexuals experimenting, is very frequently used to harrass and shame them.]
Cross-culturally, however, the social concept of men having sex with men is very common - even the idea that some men really like it, not just in certain situations, is not that rare. What's rare is the idea that gay men don't enjoy sex with women and aren't attracted to women. This, as I said above, apparently began in London in the 1690s and then spread over the course of the 18th century. Previously, men who had sex with men were actually seen as MORE likely to have sex with women than other men were.

E) homosexuality has nothing to do with sexual inversion
In those societies that DO recognise distinct 'homosexual identities', it's almost always conjoined with the idea of people being transgender (or a 'third gender' that is in practice for biological males who act mostly in ways primarily associated with women). Our society has a few relics of this (eg effeminate 'camp' mannerisms, intentionally masculine 'butch' lesbian mannerisms), but has come to mostly distinguish between the two. This is very odd, comparatively speaking - perhaps unique.

[F) homosexual people naturally want to be in homosexual relationships as identical as possible to conventional heterosexual relationships
I admit i'm less sure of this one, but my perception is that in other cultures, and historically, even people who seem pretty clearly 'gay' don't necessarily want to 'marry' their gay life-partner (or otherwise settle down conventionally). Rather, they seem to pursue different types of relationships - often more promiscuous than the monogamous marriages enforced on heterosexual couples - and sometimes to combine these with conventional heterosexual relationships. The obvious exception to this [and yes, I know there are a few other isolated examples known from history, but I'm talking about general trends] are the third-gender or gender-inversion cultures, where the gender-inverted person may indeed be a 'wife', though usually to a 'man' rather than another third-gender. Even there, I know some societies put relationships with third-genders into a different category (they may be less monogamous, and they may be compatible with a conventional marriage).]

Consocieties don't have to disagree with us on any of these five points, let alone all of them. But I think it's worth bearing in mind that these five ideas are not things that are going to be automatically obvious to everybody - most of them are things that most societies - even those that are 'gay positive' in the sense of having positive attitudes to same-sex sex - probably will not believe.


EDIT: I should probably say, when I assume above that I'm talking about gay men, that's not because I'm forgetting about lesbians. It's just that lesbianism is quite a different issue, in terms of societal conceptions, because most cultures define sex in a penis-related way. These cultures therefore haven't had any attitudes toward or beliefs about sex between women, because by definition it doesn't exist. That doesn't mean that they can't have some complicated opinions about women massaging each other in inappropriate ways, or kissing a bit more intimately than is proper, but those opinions often haven't even come within the sphere of 'sex' opinions. [My impression of lesbianism in european history is that generally society has been uninterested, or even tacitly encouraging, when it's done discretely behind closed doors (all those life-long spinster live-in companions 'helping each other abjure the evils of fornication') and unpredictable confusion when it's done brazenly (varying from condemnation to acclaim depending on the character of the individuals and the situation)... but maybe someone is more knowledgeable than me on that?]
That said, some of what I said above does apply to lesbians too. For instance, historically there has been an association between having-sex-with-other-women and dressing-and-acting-like-a-man. Then again, it may just be that those who acted like men have been more prominent than those who were just two womanly women living together privately. It may also be that those who took the roles of men were encouraged by society to pursue romantic relationships with women because that was what men did.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by druneragarsh »

Salmoneus wrote:EDIT: I should probably say, when I assume above that I'm talking about gay men, that's not because I'm forgetting about lesbians. It's just that lesbianism is quite a different issue, in terms of societal conceptions, because most cultures define sex in a penis-related way. These cultures therefore haven't had any attitudes toward or beliefs about sex between women, because by definition it doesn't exist. That doesn't mean that they can't have some complicated opinions about women massaging each other in inappropriate ways, or kissing a bit more intimately than is proper, but those opinions often haven't even come within the sphere of 'sex' opinions. [My impression of lesbianism in european history is that generally society has been uninterested, or even tacitly encouraging, when it's done discretely behind closed doors (all those life-long spinster live-in companions 'helping each other abjure the evils of fornication') and unpredictable confusion when it's done brazenly (varying from condemnation to acclaim depending on the character of the individuals and the situation)... but maybe someone is more knowledgeable than me on that?]
That said, some of what I said above does apply to lesbians too. For instance, historically there has been an association between having-sex-with-other-women and dressing-and-acting-like-a-man. Then again, it may just be that those who acted like men have been more prominent than those who were just two womanly women living together privately. It may also be that those who took the roles of men were encouraged by society to pursue romantic relationships with women because that was what men did.
IIRC in medieval Europe, the church suppressed descriptions of lesbianism, since it was believed that women were more impressionable than men, and hearing about lesbianism would make them all go and try it. "The sin that must not be named"?
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Ànradh »

A friend of mine had the interesting situation a year or so ago when he discovered he was attracted to a woman after years of believing he was exclusively attracted to men.
He had a minor identity crisis over it that I found really difficult to understand, and considered himself straight for all of a few weeks before finding another guy he was attracted to and deciding he was gay after all... only to flip-flop again later. Meanwhile, I was like "You're quite clearly bi."
In retrospect, perhaps both of us were shoe-horning a fluid situation into discrete labels.
The gay-lesbian 'double-standard' is something I've included in (older versions of) one of my con-cultures; it had a very patronising-to-women vibe though ("female sexuality doesn't really count"), and didn't seem to fit with the fairly egalitarian gender politics they had going.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by pittmirg »

k1234567890y wrote:
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Squall wrote:Same-sex marriage
Gays do not exist in the conworlds.
Gays!?

Really... That's the term you're going with?
I'm supposedly proficient in English at the C2 level (sometimes this feels a little exaggerated but still), yet until now I had NO IDEA that "gay" or "black" as a noun could be taken as offensive (or that it depends on the article used). Of course I was aware that English prefers adjectives of ethnicity/race/identity in the predicative function and of the tendency to append words like "person", "people" to such terms in polite contexts. Apparently you can't hope to catch up with this whole euphemism treadmill business as a non-native living outside the Anglosphere.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by qwed117 »

Salmoneus wrote:[Fun fact? The people who experience most domestic abuse are bisexual people in relationships with homosexual people. Apparently, the idea that bisexuals are either homosexuals in denial, or else heterosexuals experimenting, is very frequently used to harrass and shame them.]
That almost definitely needs to be sourced.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Salmoneus »

qwed117 wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:[Fun fact? The people who experience most domestic abuse are bisexual people in relationships with homosexual people. Apparently, the idea that bisexuals are either homosexuals in denial, or else heterosexuals experimenting, is very frequently used to harrass and shame them.]
That almost definitely needs to be sourced.
Sorry, I can't find the specific study at this point.
However, that bisexuals suffer vastly higher levels of domestic abuse in all categories seems pretty much a universal. For example, the CDC in the US in its big 2010 study found that 49% of bisexual women reported serious physical violence, compared to 29% of lesbians and 24% of heterosexual women. 76% of bisexual women reported psychological aggression, compared to 63% of lesbians and 48% of straight women. an Australian study in Sydney found that 89% of bisexual mena and 47% of bisexual women had experienced some domestic abuse, much, much higher than for either homosexuals or heterosexuals.

These figures don't split out the gender of the perpetrator. [the CDC do note that most bisexual women report only male perpetrator - but as bisexual women are also likely to have had many more other-sex than same-sex relationships, this doesn't tell us very much] However, we do know that people in same-sex relationships experience higher levels of abuse in general. For instance, the US national survey of violence against women found that 22% of men and 36% of women in same-sex relationships had experienced domestic abuse, compared to 7% and 20% for those in other-sex relationships. That's in line with the sigma research study in the uk (2003) that found 22% of lesbian/bisexual/etc women had suffered domestic abuse by a female partner and that 29% of gay/bisexual/et men had suffered domestic abuse by a male partner.

So if people are more likely to be victimised by the same sex, and bisexuals are more likely to be victims overall, the claim that bisexuals in same-sex relationships are most likely to be victimised would appear to congruent with the stats.

However, unfortunately I cannot, as I say, find the actual report I'm thinking of right now (which would have been a fairly recent report but probably UK-specific).
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Squall »

Thank you for the clarification. I hope not to commit more blunders.
pittmirg wrote:I'm supposedly proficient in English at the C2 level (sometimes this feels a little exaggerated but still), yet until now I had NO IDEA that "gay" or "black" as a noun could be taken as offensive (or that it depends on the article used). Of course I was aware that English prefers adjectives of ethnicity/race/identity in the predicative function and of the tendency to append words like "person", "people" to such terms in polite contexts. Apparently you can't hope to catch up with this whole euphemism treadmill business as a non-native living outside the Anglosphere.
Me neither.
In my native language, we can use adjectives and omit the noun. English requires the word 'one(s)' to avoid repetition.

'Japanese' in my language has genders and plural. If you say "a Japanese person" in my language, you will be being excessively verbose.
Even if the word has no genders, such as Ainu, the articles tell the gender and the number.

My behavior writing English was this. I saw that "French" could be a noun and I saw no problems in using it as a noun. When I wrote "French people", I wanted to clarify the plural, because "Frenches" does not exist. That was not needed with "Americans".
English is not my native language. Sorry for any mistakes or lack of knowledge when I discuss this language.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by HoskhMatriarch »

Squall wrote:Thank you for the clarification. I hope not to commit more blunders.
pittmirg wrote:I'm supposedly proficient in English at the C2 level (sometimes this feels a little exaggerated but still), yet until now I had NO IDEA that "gay" or "black" as a noun could be taken as offensive (or that it depends on the article used). Of course I was aware that English prefers adjectives of ethnicity/race/identity in the predicative function and of the tendency to append words like "person", "people" to such terms in polite contexts. Apparently you can't hope to catch up with this whole euphemism treadmill business as a non-native living outside the Anglosphere.
Me neither.
In my native language, we can use adjectives and omit the noun. English requires the word 'one(s)' to avoid repetition.

'Japanese' in my language has genders and plural. If you say "a Japanese person" in my language, you will be being excessively verbose.
Even if the word has no genders, such as Ainu, the articles tell the gender and the number.

My behavior writing English was this. I saw that "French" could be a noun and I saw no problems in using it as a noun. When I wrote "French people", I wanted to clarify the plural, because "Frenches" does not exist. That was not needed with "Americans".
Actually, you can use adjectives without nouns for the plural often, like "The French do not actually speak like 'oui oui baguette oui oui croissant ooh la la' people". You can even say the poor, the rich, the tall, the short, the strong, the weak, or (almost?) any other adjective as a noun as long as it's plural.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Dormouse559 »

Not just any old adjective. Sticking to our current subject, you can't say "the gay". In isolation, that sounds like a singular; with a verb, it sounds awkward. I can't think of a guiding principle right now, but nationalities and common adjectives seem the most likely to be pluralizable like that.
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by HoskhMatriarch »

Dormouse559 wrote:Not just any old adjective. Sticking to our current subject, you can't say "the gay". In isolation, that sounds like a singular; with a verb, it sounds awkward. I can't think of a guiding principle right now, but nationalities and common adjectives seem the most likely to be pluralizable like that.
I thought you could say "the gay", like "this is a place for the gay to be amongst themselves" or something (although that's an odd example, it seems grammatical to me).
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by alynnidalar »

Maybe to you, but that sounds awfully odd to me... like something that would be said in a nature documentary about waterfowl.

"Here we observe the spotted wood duck in its natural environment of the marshes of southeastern Massachusetts. This is a place for the spotted wood ducks to be amongst themselves, safe from predators." etc.
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Dormouse559
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Dormouse559 »

HoskhMatriarch wrote:I thought you could say "the gay", like "this is a place for the gay to be amongst themselves" or something (although that's an odd example, it seems grammatical to me).
Not to me. At first, I'd get the same nature documentary impression as alynnidalar and then be confused by the plural marking in the second half of the sentence. (And then I'd realize what you were doing and wonder why anyone would do that. [:P] )

EDIT: I'd accept "the gay" as a plural if it referred to people who are happy, and then only in a context that strongly suggested the "happy" meaning.
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Thrice Xandvii
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Re: Gay marriage, polygamy, etc.

Post by Thrice Xandvii »

Yeah, using "the gay" as a collective noun shorthand for "gay people" seems really weird. Also, you may come off sounding homophobic to boot.

I agree, Dormouse, I feel like an example like: "...and the gay all congregated in the parlor to partake of the Yule festivities" might work. But then it sounds marked and archaic.
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