Friday, July 8, 2011

Misuse of Connotative Words

Like I said a couple of days ago, my date prospects are waning. I am no longer the new girl on Match and the number of winks and emails has decreased to only one or two per day. Try Twenty-Five is only Try Six right now. That’s not nearly as good. 
So instead of waiting for people to be interested in me I jumped in and did a little search of my own: Male, 25-30 years old, at least 5’11”. I didn’t just skim over the thumbnails, I started opening and reading each one. Bald picture? I read it. A picture with a litter of kids? Read it. If there had been a picture of a man in a straw hat and a bolo tie, I would have read that too. 
What did I discover? I have been missing out on the best comedic experience ever. In fact, I started to take notes on these amazing profile-writing follies and have sorted them into categories so that I can share them with you. 
Today I will be discussing the category I call Misuse of Connotative Words-- words that have a dictionary meaning, but you think of a very different meaning when you see or hear them. For example here is a username I found. I’ve changed it here to protect this unfortunate man’s identity, but it was something very similar to “Thruster1452.” The dictionary  defines a “thruster” as “a small rocket attached to a spacecraft.” I definitely didn’t think of aerospace. 
Then there was the man who wrote in his profile, “I do have lots of stamina” when discussing his running and hiking abilities. Really? You could have chosen endurance, or fortitude, but you went with stamina? I’m picturing this guy with a beaming smile, leg up on a coffee table or something, and a bottle of Viagra held in the air like the Statue of Liberty holds her torch. “I’ve got STAMINA!!!” 
On a less sexual note there was one man who starts his profile off with this stunning first sentence: “I am a 27 year old male.” Not man, not guy...male. It made me think of the dog descriptions at the Humane Society. The next line could have been "I can sit on command, I like to play frisbee, but I like to jump so I should go to a home with at least a six-foot fence."  I should have emailed him to see if he was updated on his shots. 

This next one’s pretty good because it makes the reader so incredibly uncomfortable. I bet it will work on you, too. It appeared right in the middle of this guy's profile description of himself. Just read this and see how you feel:
                                                         I enjoy “delving into your psyche.” 
Did it work? Did it make you a little sick to your stomach or give you goosebumps or something? Wow, at least he comes across as a psychopathic serial killer right from the start. That could get real uncomfortable if that sentence came out over some casual drinks. 
Now, not all guys are ignorant when it comes to word choice. Some, in fact, are masterful at the art of euphemism. Like the guy that wrote, “I am the shop foreman for a computer store.” I’m pretty sure this means he’s the greeter. But doesn’t that sound better? “Shop foreman.” It has a nice ring to it. Authoritative, even. Maybe I should think of a euphemism for my job. I’m not a teacher, I’m a “director of literacy development.” I’d better go change that now...

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