Pride (In The Name Of)
July 24, 2011 8 Comments
Seen on billboard overtop a downtown Safeway: “We Celebrate Pride”
One struggles to envision trying to explain this sign to a time-travelling visitor from the past. Yes, that is a food market. Yes, they put a sign above their market announcing that they, the market’s proprietors, ‘celebrate’ a deadly sin. No, please don’t ask me to explain the whys and wherefores of this.
What is next though? Should Safeway ‘celebrate’ wrath, greed, sloth, lust, envy, and gluttony as well? Are these, too, now things we demand of our local food distribution centers?
Oh. Right. ‘Pride’ doesn’t mean pride anymore. It means homosexuality. Right.
It is interesting, and I truly mean this, how our language changes over time. I don’t think it’s an entirely dumb conjecture to suggest that, say, 150 years from now, the English word ‘pride’ will connote only homosexuality, and the one we currently know (from parades and such), let alone the one that referred to a sin, will have been entirely forgotten, or at least seen as antiquated.
All of which is part of the natural evolution of language, I suppose. The one thing I wonder though: if homosexuals are indeed so ‘proud’ of themselves, why the word-borrowing? Why the euphemism? Ironically, all this talk of ‘pride’ just goes to show that it is still – quite literally – the love that dare not speak its actual name.