Partner means, or used to mean, two people engaged together in some shared enterprise, or who are friends and are doing things together as a team. But now "partner" has become the quasi official term for two unmarried people--whether homosexual or heterosexual--who live together. And for the truly politically correct, "partner" is even the obligatory term for married persons, since it would "privilege" heterosexual married couples for them to be referred to as "husband" and "wife" while homosexual couples and unmarried heterosexual couples are deprived of those honored titles. Therefore, in the name of equality, husband and wife must be called partner and partner. And with the spread of homosexual "marriage," this change is working itself into the law as well, as I have pointed out many times.
In any case, since the default meaning of "partner"--without a qualifying adjective such as "business" partner--is now two people living together in a sexual relationship, if a man now refers to another man as his partner, people will automatically take that to mean that they are a homosexual couple. The perfectly normal word partner has thus been made radioactive for normal (i.e. non-liberal) people. Even the old-fashioned American idiom of addressing someone in a friendly way as "partner,"--as in, "Hey, partner, how's it going?"--will not be used any more.
I first heard "partner" used in the homosexual sense on a C-SPAN program in the '90s. Brian Lamb was interviewing some author about his book. The guest referred to someone by name, and Lamb asked, "Who is that?", and the guest said complacently, "My partner." I thought, "Partner in what? Are they co-authors? Do they have a business together?" Then it dawned on me what he meant.
Like the takeover and ruin of the perfectly good word "gay" by the meaning "homosexual," the perfectly good word "partner" has been taken over and ruined by the meaning "sexual partner."
I wish I had written that myself. That is the sort of thing a conservative blogger should write. It's part of living in the degenerate present world that we do not accept things like this disgusting revision of the meaning of the word "partner." A conservative is supposed, among other things, to love the English language and to be revolted by its ruination by the liberal agenda.
And in fact, every time I hear the word "partner" used in this way I feel a sense of sickness. If possible, I feel it even more now that open live-in heterosexual relationships are becoming accepted for political figures, so that public figures whom one might otherwise assume to be husband and wife turn out to be "partner and partner." Indeed, as Auster says, it devalues marriage.
In fact, this is one good example of the way that homosexual relationships have undermined heterosexual marriage. That bears thinking about.
However, I get bored, depressed, cynical, bitter, and tired, and I don't always think to say these things. Yes, I detest that use of "partner," but I never wrote a blog post about it before. If I'd thought of doing so, I probably would have said to myself, "Oh, heavens, there are so many things one could write about. Where does one start? And it would depress me to write that." But Auster did so, and that relief of having someone else say it for you is part of the value of Auster's trenchant Internet commentary. Surprisingly, a post like this is not depressing but rather uplifting. It shows that there are others out there who also detest the way that liberalism has defiled the English language. That's even exciting.