Tag Archives: language

Double Talking Jive and the Language of Women by Noah Baird

I’ve noticed recently that women have tricked us. I don’t know when it happened. I don’t know how. All I know is they’ve subtly altered the lexicon without anyone noticing. It all started when a woman asked me if I had “ . . . deleted the text or deleted-deleted the text?”.

In case you’ve never met a woman; here’s a decoder ring:

What she says

What she means

Did you delete the text? Did you move the text to the trash folder?g
Did you delete-delete the text? Did you move the text to the trash folder and then empty the trash folder?g

g

This a uniquely feminine way of speaking. Men do not walk around asking each other if they drank the beer, or if they drank-drank the beer. Yet we understand what it means.

After conducting some in-depth analysis (and by “in-depth analysis”, I mean I thought about it while I was in the shower), I concluded there were two ways women double talk.

The first, is to minimize an action.

What she says

What she means

I went shopping. I didn’t go shopping-shopping. She went window shopping. Just a word of caution, this does not mean she did not buy anything. It means she did not purchase anything in excess of an arbitrary amount she considers to be “shopping”. Note: This arbitrary amount varies from model to model.g
I went shopping-shopping. She went shopping.g

g

The second way double talk is used is as an intensifier. In this case, if you hear a woman say the word twice, she is intensifying the meaning. For a man, this is the same thing as saying “really”. For example, she may ask you if you ” . . . love it-love it.”. She’s asking if you really love it.

What she says

What she means
We need to talk. She is going to list, in detail, the things you are doing wrong.g
We need to talk-talk. It’s a long list. Run.

g

The problem occurs with the usual differences in understanding between the sexes, as with the case below:

What she says

What a man understands

Do you like her? Would you sleep with her?g
Do you like her-like her? Would you sleep with her?g
Do you like her-like her-like her? Slow down, psycho! I only want to sleep with her.g

g

Double talk may also be used as a subtle warning. In this case, she’s trying to be nice for your benefit. However, she’s a rattlesnake with a silencer. Extreme caution is advised.

What she says

What she means

I’m so happy your old college roommate is coming to visit.g She hates him.
I’m so happy your old college roommate is coming to visit. I just love him, love him, love him.g She hates him-hates him.

g

If you want to understand-understand a woman, you need to filter-filter or you’ll be in trouble-trouble.

Noah Baird usually does not understand women. He is also the author of Donations to Clarity.

http://www.amazon.com/Donations-Clarity-Noah-Baird/dp/1935171445/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311518859&sr=8-1/

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The Real Color of a Beautiful Epiphany by J J Dare

There is a little boutique in the middle of town one of my daughters loves. Every time she comes to visit, we end up going to this quirky little dress shop.

Hanging in the window display was a beautiful blue blouse. Well, I’ll correct myself: a beautiful blouse. My daughter argued it was not blue. She said it was a beautiful green blouse.

She wears contacts and I wear glasses, we’re both corrected to 20/20, so it was a toss-up as to who was right. We consulted the dress shop owner, who, though she’s been helpful before, was no help now.

“It says ‘blue-green’ on the invoice,” she said with a shrug and a smile.

My daughter and I looked at it again.

“Blue,” I said.

“Green,” she said.

Impasse, we both agreed.

She saw green and I saw blue. As it turns out, we were both right.

We all view the world around us through different eyes. What I see may never be exactly what you see. It makes it very interesting to know you are viewing life in your own unique way and in a way no one else can.

Within the structure of my novels is the language of normal, every day people. What I didn’t take into account was what is normal to me (y’all back yet, don’t that beat all, how’s it going, you gonna eat that, etc.) may not be normal to others.

My language is common and somewhat regional. However, what is common and regional to me may be foreign to others. The same holds true with writing: what I consider stuffy and stiff may be normal language to some people.

I’m loose and free in my conversational skills and it reflects heavily in my writing. I talk like the everyman. I write the same way.

But, there in front of my face was the type of stilted writing I typically steer clear of. The dialogue between the characters was as if they were putting on airs. Their affected conversation sounded silly and pretentious.

I read a few comments on this little piece of writing and was very surprised to see some people (including two English professors and a linguistics major) were raving about how they loved the writing.

Eh, well, I could see that. These were people who preached “the word is the word” and lived in the world of proper language. Even though I’m an English major, I’ve often thought I was better suited for a Real World English degree.

A few more comments came in and these were from ordinary students. One was in biology, two were business students, and one was aiming for a major in whatever he had enough credits for by the time his funding ran out.

They echoed the education professionals: they loved the style of writing.

What the heck was going on? I looked at the excerpt again and still found the words lacking in warmth, sincerity and realism. I was a harsh critic, blunt where I’m usually kind and sharp where I’m typically gentle. After all, who is the best critic of one’s own writing but oneself?

I had written a short dialogue as an exercise in writing outside of my normal style. I was mimicking the stilted style I found unreal and unnatural. I was mocking what I, apparently, didn’t understand.

Like the real world, the world of writing is subject to the eye of the beholder. While I found this type of writing abnormal and uncomfortable, others did not see it that way.

I learned a lesson. What is not liked by one person is loved by another. Pickled herring is yucky to me, but I know plenty of people who swear by it.

On that day, I learned that green is blue and blue is green and I shouldn’t judge a book, even one of my own, by its cover.

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

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