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More on Language

Posted Aug 23 2008 10:37pm
There are two phrases in our diet vernacular that I find particularly irksome. The first is, "She let herself go." She did? Where'd she go? How's the weather out there? The second has a more positive connotation and is typically reserved for post-diet or -pregnancy changes: "She got her body back." Wait, where was her body? Was there a ransom involved for its return? Any other common statements you can think of that are similarly provocative?

As I sat in a nail salon this morning pondering these phrases and why they seem to hit a nerve, a woman, obviously a regular, entered the salon. "Manicure or eyebrow wax?" an employee questioned. "Bikini," the woman responded. Already primed to think about our language and what it signifies, I began thinking about the concept of a bikini wax and why we call it that. If we're there to wax our legs, we don't call it the shorts/miniskirt wax. When we're there for our eyebrows, we don't ask for a sunglasses wax. Why must we misrepresent our genitalia, only referring to them as the parts of clothing we use as cover? What's so wrong with calling a spade a crotch? Anyone willing to ask for a pubic/labial wax?

I exited said nail salon, picked up my Iced Mocha and walked into my office building. An elevator companion noted, "Your drink smells good." "It's a mocha, I replied," to which he commented, "I hate to mention the amount of calories in that."
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