Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Feel This

I am a big fan of euphemisms, and also of saying things in another less offensive or more agreeable way. It's like saying, "I have to go powder my nose" instead of the more mature, "I have to go to Tinkletown now." Or used cars being referred to as "pre-owned" or small cooking areas being "step-saver kitchens" or drunk people being "three sheets to the wind." Or "tipsy."

But two expressions in particular keep popping up and I think it's time we talked about them. But first, this classic from my childhood:

Grandmother: "There are two words I wish you wouldn't use. One is 'swell' and the other is 'lousy'.

Grandson: "OK, what are they?"

I never claimed that my childhood was funny. Oh but it was. Anyhoo, I love it when people say "she slept with him." Or "Don't say anything, Madge, but I think that Frank and Edna are sleeping together."

Frank and Edna can sleep together all they want and do nothing wrong, except for Frank's snoring. Really! What's the problem of sleeping with someone if sleeping is all that takes place? Frankly, Edna, I could use more sleep myself, so shove over a little, would you?

People only say this because they are not all grown up and everything like you and I are. We mature individuals are able to look at the sexuality of two individuals making the free choice to come together in the conjugal sense and speak of it in proper terms. We say, "They're doing the hanky-panky" or "the horizontal hop." We are all proper like that.

The other term that amuses me seems to exist mainly on television dramas. "I have feelings for him," "she has feelings for her ex," "I still have feelings for Chenise." Who talks like that in real life? No one I know says that. Do you know anyone who says they "have feelings" for someone? No. We say,"I dig" so-and-so, "I'm into Warren" or "I can't stand that sonofa..." but we don't drag feelings into it. And the term is sort of indefinite. I might very well have "feelings" for someone, but they might not be so positive. I have feelings for Timothy McVeigh, but his tarnished memory will not be the better for hearing about them! It's better to be more precise, and say "I love that woman" or "I don't care for your Aunt Mildred."

Just don't hurt anyone's feelings when you do!

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