By William Leap

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Additional resources for Word's Out: Gay Men's English

Sample text

C. suburbs. On display on a large table are Champion sweatshirts in various colors, some of which are on sale. S [an African American man in his thirties] is folding sweatshirts and putting the display back in order as C approaches the table and begins looking through the merchandise. S sees C approach, turns, smiles, and the dialogue begins. ]) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 S: Can I help you find something? C: No thanks, I am just looking. [Pause. S continues to fold and arrange the merchandise.

There is also evidence of friction in this exchange, and the evidence becomes more apparent as the conversation progresses. Still, neither party allows disagreement to disrupt their communication. Hence, for example, speaker A introduces silence and nonverbal action at a strategic point in the conversation (lines 10-11) when prolonging the "yes it is —no it isn't" debate would have erupted into more serious consequences. Speaker B shows similar concerns with text maintenance in his response to this comment.

Her response when a nosy companion asked if a mutual friend was really homosexually inclined. Statements do not have to be exaggerated in order to encourage a cooperative exchange between speakers and listeners in Gay English conversations. Speakers can also make effective use of metaphoric references — statements whose word content and imagery are likely to suggest to the listener additional associations between sentence reference and gay point of view. 3 lists five statements, collected during my field work, that contain different types of metaphoric constructions.

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