Language gets complicated

Man, oh man, how the lexicon has evolved from the day when certain words were never spoken unless spit out as an epithet.

Take the word “queer” when referencing someone’s sexual orientation.

Once upon a long time ago — when I was a kid — one used that word to describe homosexuals. One did so with a huge dose of derision.

These days? It’s now part of what has become a term comprising letters in the alphabet, as in “LGBTQ.” The “Q” stands for “queer.”

I saw an obituary today about a playwright who died at age 96. The opening paragraph of the obit described him as “queer.”

I am having trouble understanding the evolution of our language. Black people toss the n-word around only because they are entitled to do so, given that they were called the n-word as a venomous epithet. The term “colored people” has evolved into “people of color.” OK. I get it.

This “queer” thing has me baffled. For that matter I don’t know we no longer use the term “gay” simply to refer to anyone whose sexual orientation leads him or her to be intimate with people of the same gender. Now it’s LGBTQ, which I have to think for a moment before I even say it, fearing that I’ll get the letters mixed up. Besides, don’t the terms “lesbian” and “gay” — as well as “queer” — mean the same thing?

Speaking and writing the English language is difficult enough. Hey, I’ll just have to adapt.