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another terminology thread: "gal"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by jps, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. jps

    jps Active Member

    is this word offensive?

    I've got an older column writer that uses it occasionally referring to female athletes ... every time he does, I read right over it and don't think about it at all. but the page will get to our female (also older) copy editor, who is very good at her job, and every time she'll mark it and suggest a different wording. her reasoning is that it is offensive.

    is this a generational thing that I'm just oblivious to? my writer really has a folksy style in his columns and people really enjoy them. to me, this reads in that style, but maybe I'm wrong. it happens.
  2. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    In theory, it's not different than "guy." But I guess I can see how some women might find it demeaning.

    It's far removed from the likes of "dame" or "broad," though.
  3. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    more antiquated than offensive, I'd think, but it's picked up enough of a connotation now that it's irrelevant. Shouldn't use it.
  4. Babs

    Babs Member

    I find it somewhat demeaning. Perhaps that's because the people who use it usually have other demeaning things coming out of their mouths and it's hard to separate the two.

    I would never let it through in copy.
  5. jps

    jps Active Member

    hmm. why demeaning? like I said ... must be just generational? because nothing that comes out of this man's mouth is demeaning. very nice man who has had a great carreer in journalism and coaching. great guy.

    edit: frankly ... I kind of read it as almost an affectionate term, in a way. (in a totally non-skeevy way, of course.)
  6. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    I don't really find it offensive, but I know some do. It can be demeaning because it's sometimes used in a condescending sense. Doesn't mean your guy is doing that, but that's the connotation anyway. Comes from a time when a lot of people used phrases that they didn't think anything of. There's a reason those terms have mostly died out now.

    As for the column, I'd replace the word. There's just no good reason for using it like that.
  7. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    "She's a great gal!" /Reg Dunlop
  8. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I agree with the notion that it's archaic at this point, unless you're a gumshoe.

    Offensive? Refer to my earlier observations on the "water buffalo" problem, in which it's established that not everyone gets to choose what others will concur is offensive.

    Seems easy enough to edit out – once. Then, you tell the columnist to stop.
  9. jps

    jps Active Member

    yeah, it gets taken out. not a great word anyway. just hadn't been taking it out for it being offensive.
    and he knows ... just one that slips in now and then, I think. just like I tend to write with too many "that"s, and have to go and search for them when I'm done with the story.
  10. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    "But does that make him a fag?"
  11. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    I don't think it's any more offensive than when I wrote "The volleyball team returns home for a three-way Saturday afternoon" after tonight's match. Then again, I think I'm clever.
  12. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    That nails the point home. The fact that some think it's offensive is enough for me.

    I equate this to somebody saying, "That's gay," when they just mean something is stupid. That may not be offensive to you or me, but we know damn well it's offensive to some. So just don't use it.
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