One reason for this increase in use could be because "gay" has partly lost its sexual connotations among young people, he says. While still pejorative, for the majority of youngsters it has replaced words such as "lame".
"I have interviewed scores of school kids about this and they are always emphatic that it has nothing at all to do with hostility to homosexuals," says Mr Thorne, compiler of the Dictionary of Contemporary Slang. "It is nearly always used in contexts where sexual orientation and sexuality are completely irrelevant." [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7289390.stm]
i can't really make up my mind on this. on the one hand, words gain and lose meanings all the time and there's no particular reason to doubt it. but sometimes the meanings are muddled, especially when one is derogatory. i mean, look at the other words on the list. there's definitely some homophobia in there. but is it directed; does it actually mean anything? thoughts?