I’m visiting my in-laws on a Pennsylvania lake, and that means I get my father-in-law’s annual speech about how “gay” used to be a perfectly good word till its meaning changed in the 70s.
“Wonderful great, happy, Each one has a gradation and a distinctive meaning. We’ve lost in my mind what it meant and it was a very distinctive word. There is no word that replaces it in the English language today. There was a common expression, we used then for someone who was a bit of a party boy, he was a ‘gay blade.’
Why of all the words in the English language did they have to choose that one? It’s ridiculous to use that word.
Merry lighthearted it’s none of those things. Why couldn’t they come up with their own word?”