When I was in the 7th grade I read a lot of Nancy Drew. I've never been much of a reader, but for some reason I was on a roll reading multiple books in the series that year. I got into them so much that I started to pick up on the grammar used in the text. Word usage in the forties and fifties isn't always directly translatable to language of today. I didn't know that.
I distinctly remember sitting in math class one day. I was a really quiet kid. I hardly ever spoke out in class. Why this was the day to blurt out the first thing that popped into my head, I have no idea. Our teacher was explaining the answer to a homework question on the overhead projector. I guess the answer to the math problem wasn't what I expected because I practically shouted, "Hmm, that's queer!" The whole class room burst out in laughter.
That night I was saying goodnight to my mom and telling her about my day. I said, "Mom, everyone in math thought I was really funny today!" I was excited to feel like the class clown for once. I told her the story. "Oh Honey, that's because queer is another word for gay." Oh. I was mortified. Damn it, Nancy. I'll never forget that.