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1 Type of Woman Who Is More Concerned with Language Abuse than Marriage

August 19, 2013

This is going to reveal my nerdiness even more than my multiple references to Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica already have, but I love words. I got my B.A. in creative writing and my M.S. in linguistics. So anything having to do with the English language, the study of it, and the art of crafting with it is right up my alley, as are reading some of those crafts (okay, so that’s not the best segue into “Sorry I didn’t post at all last week–I was the lead actress in a short film that was shooting most of the week, heh heh heh!”).

But back to the topic at hand, which is language and how much I love it. I really love when it’s used properly. And by “properly,” I mean not so much in terms of perfect adherence to grammar gods Strunk & White (although as I’ve often told students, your ideas don’t mean shit unless you can frame them in terms people can understand…well, I didn’t put that in so many words, but you get the drift), but more in terms of getting your meaning across efficiently and effectively without raising your readers’ blood pressure in the process.

Which is why I really need to stop reading so much about relationships. Not only is the topic itself sufficient cause to make my ulcer rival a hole in the ozone layer for square footage, but the way articles and books related to dating and mating are titled frequently expands that ulcer to the point where it engulfs nearby planets and is well on its way to creating a space-time warp.

Hence why I am once again blaming HuffPo for future violations of causality. Ripping a page out of a 1950s pearl-and-matching-sweater-sets dating handbook comes this little tee-hee-worthy tidbit from Samantha Daniels, a name that I’d try to overlook the instantaneous Stepford Wives-ness of if not for her sincere advice to hopeless spinsters everywhere, a.k.a. the Ten Types of Women Men Do Not Want to Marry.

It’s maddeningly clear why HuffPo would elect to use a title so provocative. Once again, as with Lori Gottlieb’s Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, the content is fairly straightforward and should be obvious to anyone with a grain of common sense. Geez, Sammie, whaddaya mean men don’t generally like nagging, clingly, obsessive mama’s girls who hate all their friends and hobbies?! I would have never guessed that, seeing as how I’m only capable of thinking from a woman’s perspective, and women are NEVER worried about bossy, overbearing types who can’t make a move without calling Mommy first!

But goddamn, that frickin’ title. Also the content. Y’all know I love me some typeface-aided hyperbole on occasion, but what is up with this article’s randomly placed italicization? Some of the italics are so haphazard as to make me think of Mike Myers’ intonation, “You put the wrong emphASis on the wrong sylLABle.”

Although I’ll give Daniels and/or her editors credit. Playing Italics Bingo with this article nicely skirts one of the major issues of this article (well, besides it being inflammatory in proportions similar to having a two-Prevacid level heartburn in response to a Taco Bell salad when there’s a perfectly bad burrito on the same menu). To wit, the same question I scratched my head over when I read Gottlieb’s non-fictionalized soap opera: Who the fuck said anything about women universally wanting to get married? (Also take note, HuffPo. I’m just as good at hitting Ctrl+i as anyone, so you can start paying me the big bucks any day.)

The primary reason I’ve had enough of reading about relationships isn’t because I’ve had enough of trying love myself–hell no, I get off on Schadenfreude as much as anyone else! The real issue is that, as someone who’s chosen to take a societally-frowned-upon path myself, I’m pretty tired of reading pieces that speak to some kind of set in stone checklist that everyone should aspire to. Obviously marriage and children are not for me, but I haven’t completely ruled out dating and relationships, even if neither is a desire of mine at the moment.

But since I am dead set against those twinned ultimate goals of nuptials and family, that means any romantic entanglement, no matter how loosely based on traditional ideas of romance, isn’t going to have very many rulebooks I can follow. So while the common-sense rules of dating still apply (don’t be controlling, don’t change things that aren’t changeable), those are rules that should apply to men, women, and everywhere in between, and should apply no matter what your goals in a relationship are.

But practicality doesn’t get headlines or pageviews. So until I do sign a book deal with Gottlieb’s publisher or get a salary from HuffPo, I’m testing out my new blog name: Not Taken, Not Available. 

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