Re: Modern Love: Doormat Edition

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OMG! just read this and thought of you. Dear Brian, your wife is insane and you were someone's psych project. Regards, the NYT.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 12:37 PM
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Too harsh, Labs. She ended up behaving like a normal human being, and it worked out. Advantage therapist!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 12:49 PM
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Her father gave her a copy of The Rules for her 35th Birthday? That is so fucked up.


Posted by: Lara | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 12:50 PM
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I thought this was an unusually normal and unhorrible Modern Love, personally, though yes, clearly her dad is a loon.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 12:50 PM
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Maybe you're right, Tim. The "I won't assert my preferences, but I will get mad when you don't intuit them and reply appropriately" routine is an irritant for me. On the other hand, she waited an awfully long time to figure this out.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 12:55 PM
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My parents never gave me that book, but they've preached all that stuff to me since I was a kid. It has been really hard, not to be assertive, which I've always been, but to be willing to take risks in dating. In a way, if you're the one coming onto a man, you're inviting him to fuck you over just for the power of it. If you're standoffish, you always keep the upper hand. At least, that's the mentality you live on when you're the needless one.

But of course, you never actually have the upper hand because you're stifling every word from coming out of your mouth. The references to the Rules was tiring, but I thought it's a pretty nuanced article about a different kind of womanly false consciousness--not the kind that gives until it hurts, but the kind that withholds love, which hurts too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 12:56 PM
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That is, I don't agree that she's talking about being passive-aggressive; she's describing being Stoical in the classical sense. You are only unhappy in a relationship because you have unreasonable desires, so you teach yourself to want less and less.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 12:57 PM
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Epictetus (2005). The Handbook...for dating. Oxford: OUP.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 12:59 PM
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7: goddamn AWB we need to find you a decent guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:02 PM
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I guess I feel a little convicted by this. One of the things I think that makes me a really good girlfriend is that all I want from a partner is complete emotional independence. That is, I don't make demands for greater intimacy or for a guy to tell me all his secrets, and as long as he doesn't demand premature intimacy or secrets, I'm fine. Why would I make emotional demands on someone I've just met just because we're dating? Obviously, this method of dating isn't exactly terribly successful.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:04 PM
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9: I'm working on it. I'm a little too old and crochety these days.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:05 PM
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My sister is a total Rules girl. And single. And lectures me on how I'm not appropriately Rules-y.

I agree with 2: hurrah for normalcy.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:11 PM
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9: I don't disagree, but..in the interests of honest discussion... sex with decent guys is only decent.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:11 PM
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Did you have a good weekend, Tim? Or only decent?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:13 PM
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I'd volley back, but I'm not sure you didn't net that one, ogged.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:14 PM
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I thought articles slagging on The Rules were so 1996, and that no one was reading that book any more, but apparently not. A new edition came out this year, and even one of the authors getting a divorce hasn't slowed down the fawning from some people:

Some people mistakenly think that just because one of the authors, Ellen Fein, got a divorce that it means that the 'Rules' don't work. Au contraire! She admits that her marriage failed during the success of her book because she was not available to her husband during those years. Does that really surprise anyone. A person with 'back to back' best sellers is going to be away from home a lot -- with book tours, signings, guest appearances (for these exact reasons, Dr. Laura Schlessinger refused to travel to do these things when she wrote her books -- she only appeared 'by satellite' from her own home studio.). Women hate it when their husbands are gona a lot and men hate it even more when their wives are gone a lot! Most husbands are just not 'cut out' to handle all the 'home and kid' issues while their wives are gone.

OMG. Someone drive a stake through this book, please.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:17 PM
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The author's dad needs an ass kicking.

"He took to the piano, belting "Let Me Try Again" as tears streamed down his cheeks. "


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:21 PM
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One of the things I think that makes me a really good girlfriend is that all I want from a partner is complete emotional independence.

This is one of those moments when I realize that other people use the same words I do, only in completely different ways. In my idiolect, using the word "girlfriend" in that sentence makes it meaningless.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:31 PM
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There's a worse version of the Rules for Christians®. I forget the title of the confessional-style book, but as near as I could tell before I tossed it away in disgust, if there's something wrong with your husband, it's because you're a bad wife who is emasculating him. He's drinking? He's hitting you? He's cheating on you?

Don't you realize it's your fault?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:34 PM
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17: I agree. People who express their emotions in ways that I find trite or vulgar should be assaulted furiously, particularly if those emotions are unrequited.

7: Freedom isn't free.

10: Why would I make emotional demands on someone I've just met just because we're dating?

Considering the contingency of marriage these days, one could walk that particular cat rather further.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:37 PM
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18:

Josh gets that right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:37 PM
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19:

yeah, i forget the exact title, too. Ephesians? Corinthians? Romans?
i found it pretty nauseating, too.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:38 PM
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On the other hand, she waited an awfully long time to figure this out.

I feel a certain sympathy for her. If you misconceive the whole dynamic in the way she did, you're more or less fucked. You basically end up pinging between fucked up choice (a) or fucked up choice (b), with seemingly no hope of respite. It's enough to make you a Buddhist. Or seek help from a rock 'n roll therapist, which is basically the same thing.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:45 PM
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She admits that her marriage failed during the success of her book because she was not available to her husband during those years.

She could have said, "Now that I'm making the bucks, who needs The Rules? I amputated a no-longer-necessary human unit, that's all.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 1:53 PM
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22: Haha, but this was some sort of published "Love and the Christianist of Christian marriages" or something that my mom's church friend thought I needed to read.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:01 PM
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I have to admit that I can barely understand any of this. This "Rules" thing. Which means that despite the fact that I'm currently single, I have to sort of congratulate myself for not being an utter dork.

The world seems verily lost if people are that confused.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:01 PM
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17: I enjoy the "Modern Love" columns hugely; mainly because I do not read them, preferring only to experience them through the intermediary of Unfogg'd threads.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:01 PM
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(Actually 27 remains true with several different nouns substituted for "'Modern Love' columns".


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:04 PM
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The world seems verily lost if....

I thought that the world being verily lost was an axiom. Just the fact of relationships should make that clear.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:06 PM
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26: I think it's a pretty standard confusion. That's part of why high school sucked, right?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:08 PM
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I'm all for the uplifting ending, but was the NYT signaling anything by having this on the same page?:

http://tinyurl.com/3yo5af

Turns out that your average happy, non-dysfunctional couple is supposed to get sick of each other after three years. Which sounds like about the length of time that Darcy and Elizabeth here have been together...


Posted by: Mdb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:11 PM
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Given the tenor of the conversations here, I'm not sure there's a woman in the world who wouldn't be deemed psychopathic or infantile by us. Part of the difficulty of being a single woman looking to date is that there are so many misogynistic stereotypes we're trying to avoid passing for that there's really no way to describe oneself without falling irrevocably into one of them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:13 PM
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Check out this vows column. Awesome.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:18 PM
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32 - Angelina Jolie?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:21 PM
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31: Ixnay on the inyurltay.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:21 PM
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32: Huh?

Uh, you refer to describing oneself: are you thinking of the personal ads again?

I'm unclear what "the tenor of the conversations here" refers to.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:23 PM
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if there's something wrong with your husband, it's because you're a bad wife who is emasculating him..

This sounds just like the priest to whom James Joyce's mother talked when she wanted to leave her drunken husband, IIRC. It's not just the demented raving of some pop author, but the traditional raving of the church. At least the Irish version.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:24 PM
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36: I guess I'm thinking about the way we all respond to ML columns by playing "Guess what her psychological damage really is" because it's pretty fun to do so. It happens to create in me a lot of shame and defensiveness when I think of myself as a single woman. I'm not a whiny bitch! But don't worry, I'm not passive-aggressive! But I'm not a heartless asshole! But I'm not a romantic! Like, I often feel so crowded in by so many hideous stereotypes of women that it's hard to think of myself as what I am, represented in words, as opposed to what I'm not. It's not just profiles--it's true in conversations I have with guys I'm flirting with or go on dates with. I guess I suspect that people take a damn long time to get to know, and stereotypes help people speed up that process (and we practice creating them in our responses to the media), despite the damage it might do to the creation of actual intimacy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:33 PM
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is an irritant for me. On the other hand, she waited an awfully long time to figure this out.

Indiscretion error?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:34 PM
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(N00bs on my blog do the same thing, read an isolated piece and scream "Obviously you're a MAN and don't know what you're TALKING about!!" or "You clearly HATE feminism because you suffer from false consciousness!" and I'm all, have you read anything I've written here?)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:35 PM
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i guess what seems most bizarre to me is the deep gendered-ness of the outlook.
i mean, 'the rules' seem to assume that men are basically an alien life-form, and that your best clue for trying to predict and control their behavior is simply this fact, that they are men. any differences between one specimen male and another are trivial in comparison. instead, males are mechanisms that work according to certain robotic rules, a la asimov

it just seems to start from the assumption that there's no point in even trying to relate to people as people. you know, talk with them, get to know their past, see how they react to new situations, etc.

or at any rate, the assumption seems to be that if this is worth doing, it is only because the robotic aliens known as male homo sapiens may have a few person-emulating features, and you have to learn how to debug them.

it's just a weird, mechanistic view of dealing with another person. i mean, i'm sure there are guys who think of women this way too, so my point is not about this being unfair to guys in particular. it's just unfair to everyone involved.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:38 PM
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41: Ah yes, that's bullshit. But I think part of what "The Rules"-type stuff is trying to do is protect you from being rejected by sexist dudes who will think you're needy if you call once a week--that is, understanding that a lot of men think of women as non-human aliens who have to be managed. Of course, who wants to be with a sexist dude anyway?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:41 PM
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This woman seems pretty normal. Y'all are mean. Unfogged is love.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:41 PM
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43: Get a haircut, hippie.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:43 PM
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42:

men who think women are non-human aliens actually *are* non-human aliens. or at least merit treatment as such.

i'm down with that.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:44 PM
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38: Well, like Clownae upthread, I don't read Modern Love unless it's brought to my attention here.

I don't know -- perhaps you shouldn't either?

I don't register any shame or defensiveness when I think of myself as a single woman, at least not along the lines you seem to be describing, i.e. how must people see me? Hideous stereotype (a), (b) or (c).

AWB, there's something I really don't understand about you: by all accounts, you're attractive, intelligent, and engaging. What is the problem? Forgive me for asking, but do you try too hard to be accommodating? Like you're afraid people won't like you?

I preemptively ban myself. Of course.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:47 PM
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42: That's awfully charitable. It seems to me that the Rules are the best way to catch a guy who doesn't much like women except as an accessory: preserve the mystery, don't let him know you like him, and always be immaculately dressed.

38: I know what you mean. There's a tendency to blame the woman as a way of proving you're not like her and therefore acceptable or immune from criticism. None of us are Bridezillas. None of us wear eyeliner. None of us are high-maintenance.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:48 PM
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do you try too hard to be accommodating? Like you're afraid people won't like you?

I doubt anyone who has met me would ever accuse me of this.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:58 PM
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Oh god. The horror.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:59 PM
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"Non-human aliens"

Non-human aliens might be intelligible. Humans are the unendurable ones. M or F.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 2:59 PM
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like Clownae upthread, I don't read Modern Love unless it's brought to my attention here

This misapprehends my 27. I do not read "Modern Love" even after it's brought to my attention here.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:01 PM
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What is the problem?

The only common thread I've found in dates' reactions to me is that I'm terrifying. Like, the sense boys (men under 35?) seem to get from me is something like that I have a loaded gun under the table that I'm choosing each moment not to use. It's not like I seem to be unstable, but something more like eerily fucking stable--hence the reason I seem to get along with the 1,000-yard-stare guys.

But that might be a lark. Yeah, I don't get what the problem is, either.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:02 PM
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I'd actually never thought of a 1000 yard stare as a sign of stability. Maybe, per Jake above, we mean different things by it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:04 PM
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50:

john, it was predictable you would say that.
it's like you operate according to a small set of simple rules.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:06 PM
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53: I dunno. It's something my therapist used to say too, that I was remarkably sane and calm, given my background and experiences.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:09 PM
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"it's like you operate according to a small set of simple rules."

This is a bad way to be?

John has a central philosophy, and he wants to help us by convincing us of it's validity. Until everyone here lives a barren, intimacy-free existence, his work remains unfinished.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:10 PM
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56:

sure, me and j.e. go a long way back.

still--is it consistent with his rules that he should *care* so much about liberating us?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:11 PM
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I'm just trying to help.

All of the inhuman things people talk about are done exclusively by humans, after all. We don't accuse lions or earthquakes or viruses of being inhuman, because they are.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:13 PM
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56: Intimacy is a bourgeois confection, comprised of equal parts fear, lies and ego.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:15 PM
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55: my archetype for the 1000 yard stare. This is what you mean?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:16 PM
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Huh. This ML seemed unusually unhateful. She started out being weird, went to a therapist who encouraged her to behave like a normal person, did, fell in love and got married. Not that any of that necessarily follows causually, but it's not a bad story.

I did think, halfway through, that she was going to get involved with the therapist, which would have made me all ethically indignant, but as it is it was fine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:18 PM
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60: I don't know what they mean, because it's not something I see in myself, which is why it's so striking to me that it's something everyone else seems to see.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:20 PM
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56:

convincing us of it's validity

Sifu, yes, but turn on your radar with respect to your apostophes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:21 PM
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62: I get it. Idiolectic synthesis achieved.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:22 PM
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Ack. Two for two. I should just break that key off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:23 PM
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48: Trys too hard to ensure that people won't like you, at least won't like you too much?

I occasionally get irritated at how well playing hot-and-cold-with-a-bit-of-insanity seems to work on me, and likewise at how well the Techinque of "briefly express interest then ignore them until they sleep with you" seems to work on the type of women I associate with, which makes it hard for me to claim that the Rules are per se evil.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:30 PM
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I was about to say that it is odd how no one wants to tell men how to run their relationship lives, but then I realized that half of all comments addressed to BW or Teo fit that description, as do probably 25% of the ones addressed to Ogged, but without the good faith present in the former cases.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:35 PM
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"briefly express interest then ignore them until they sleep with you"

cf. Tao of Steve.

I think the problem with "The Rules" is that they're reductive and demeaning. Sure, the granting of knowledge and attention is a complex process fraught with intrigue and teasing and shifting power relationships, it's also vastly more layered and nuanced than The Rules (which are anyhow uselessly gendered) would suggest, assuming both people in the relationship are seen as fully realized human beings.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:38 PM
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Until everyone here lives a barren, intimacy-free existence, his work remains unfinished.

Emerson is like a god to me.


Posted by: drunk | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:38 PM
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Maybe there's a best-selling advice book here. Call it "Letters to Teo".


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:38 PM
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Emerson would have a lot more street cred if he didn't live with his sister.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:38 PM
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WORST ADVICE BOOK EVER


Posted by: OPINIONATED SIFU | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:39 PM
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71: I dunno, it has a certain Baby Boy gangsta-ness to it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:40 PM
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WORST ADVICE BOOK EVER

Doesn't mean it can't be a best-seller. Think of the ruined lives!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:41 PM
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Ogged probably has only contempt for Nietzsche and Rimbaud too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:46 PM
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Nietzsche only lived with his sister after he lost his mind. And Rimbaud was some kind of French, wasn't he?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:47 PM
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61:
"I did think, halfway through, that she was going to get involved with the therapist"

bingo--i had the same thought.
not just her description of him as a handsome studly dude, but also his behavior around her--the exuberance, the encouragement.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:49 PM
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His relationship to his sister was more successful than any of the others. The relationship with Lou Salome was worse than people think -- he really creeped her out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:49 PM
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What I've seen is people who are patched together by therapists wanting to be therapists themselves.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:50 PM
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Insight doesn't come free.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:53 PM
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78: Considering Frau Förster-Nietzsche's actions as mistress of the Nietzsche Archive, we have very different ideas of "success" and "relationships."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:55 PM
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78: And the poor, sick man just was not cool enough for Lou Salome, the Maria Montez of her milieu. Being uncool isn't a crime, except in comment threads.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:57 PM
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I sort of remember Rimbaud's sister being a figure in his writing. "The black mouth," he called her (my French isn't good enough to recall the original expression, or where it appears in his books). She may have been the executrix of his estate (as I'm pretty sure Nietzsche's sister was).


Posted by: even more drunk | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 3:59 PM
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it's also vastly more layered and nuanced than The Rules

Well, sure. But a book that said "All relationships are different and depend greatly on nuances of the personalities of the people involved" would not be very useful. And to the extent that the Rules are a restating of "have your own existence separate from the guy you are trying to get to like you, or at a minimum act like you do", I think it's even reasonable advice.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:00 PM
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81: The other women in his life wouldn't give him the time of day.

He was actually courtly and pleasant in non-dating situations, but once things got serious, usually with the wives of close friends, he was too intense.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:01 PM
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84:
"have your own existence separate from the guy"

that paraphrase would be reasonable advice, but isn't the real message more like:
"pretend to have your own existence because that's how you can totally build your world around your man and trick him into building his world around yours"?

which might be less reasonable.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:04 PM
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Nietzsche on Paul Rée, with whom Salome left him:


Over the footbridge.—When dealing with people who are bashful about their feelings, one has to be able to dissimulate; they feel a sudden hatred towards anyone who catches them in a tender or enthusiastic or elevated feeling, as if he had seen their secrets. If one wants to do them good in such moments, one should make them laugh or utter some cold, jocular sarcasm: then their feeling freezes and they regain power over themselves. But I am giving the moral before the story. There was a time in our lives when we were so close that nothing seemed to obstruct our friendship and brotherhood, and only a small footbridge separated us. Just as you were about to step on it, I asked you: do you want to cross the footbridge to me?—but then you didn't want to any more; and when I asked again, you were silent. SInce then, mountains and torrential rivers, and everything which separates and alienates, have been cast between us, and even if we wanted to reach each other, we couldn't anymore! But when you think of that little footbridge now, you have no words anymore—only sobs and bewilderment.
Gay Science 16. Nietzsche seems to join Schubert on the list of 19th-Century German Emo Dudes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:04 PM
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I love that we're talking about Nietzsche's relationships with women in the dating thread. "Fritz is really nice, but he's kind of intense sometimes." Who, Nietzsche? Ya think?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:05 PM
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Nietzsche only lived with his sister after he lost his mind.

This is meant to be in contrast to Emerson?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:13 PM
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Salome was already with Ree. Nietzsche tried to pry him away, with no success at all.

In XIXc lieterature and history, relationships with best friends' wives (or two brothers or sisters trying for the same lady or guy) is a frequent theme. That's probably inevitable when relationship opportunities are severely restricted and everyone is hampered by shyness, pickiness, and scruples.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:13 PM
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"pry her away"


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:14 PM
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XIXc

PRETENTION ALERT PRETENTION ALERT

JOHN I AM SURPRISED AT YOU


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:14 PM
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88 wins the leather bound set.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:15 PM
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Nietzsche seems to join Schubert on the list of 19th-Century German Emo Dudes.

Schumann also, definitely. Not to mention Indie Rock Hector, a pioneer in WhyDon't WomenLikeNiceGuysWhoPutThemOnPedestalsism.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:18 PM
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95

Actually, Salome was pretty intense too. Probably intense people need mellow people to buffer them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:21 PM
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But a book that said "All relationships are different and depend greatly on nuances of the personalities of the people involved" would not be very useful.

I think it might be more true to say that a book about relationships would not be very useful. For a marginally normal person, the only useful book I can imagine on relationships is, in all seriousness, an Emersonian No Relationship Life book. Because if you're inclined to look in an instruction book for those sorts of answers, the answer is "No."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:23 PM
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"Schumann also, definitely. Not to mention Indie Rock Hector, a pioneer in WhyDon't WomenLikeNiceGuysWhoPutThemOnPedestalsism."

Would Kafka belong to this category? There's a lot of semi-digested Nietszche going on his "I'm so lovelorn" routine. What about Walter Benjamin, for that matter?


Posted by: pretty much loaded | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:24 PM
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95: and mellow people need to be buffeted by the intense?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:26 PM
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The Founding Fathers of Emo: a new PBS miniseries


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:26 PM
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Nietzsche is emo? That's a new one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:27 PM
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BTW Sifu, once we find some jackboots your ass is grass. Splittists cannot be tolerated.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:28 PM
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The committee has strayed from its ideological course and will be ineluctably dissolved by the forces of ideolectical materialism. I have nothing to fear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:30 PM
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Kafka is the ultimate emo. Sure, he's got a wicked sense of irony, but have you read his personal letters? Shudderingly emo. Also, "The Judgment" would win 9/10 emo contests.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:30 PM
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We must struggle intensely against w-lfs-nism and all counter-revolutionary tendencies.


Posted by: Chairman Mao | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:31 PM
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103: not to mention the Blue Octavo Notebooks (some of which is quite good, but some of which is extremely emo).


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:32 PM
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It's not like jackboots are easy to find. I suspect that Sifu's friend Cheney controls the supply.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:33 PM
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Nietzsche was not emo. Don't we think he'd be a Randist if he was a teenager today?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:36 PM
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If you settle for hob-nailed boots I can secure you some.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:37 PM
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He's not my friend, he's my muse.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:37 PM
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(w-lfs-n's quote up there sounds more like an attempt at emotional manipulation than a soul-out-pouring)


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:37 PM
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107: No, we fucking well do not.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:40 PM
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110 to 108.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:42 PM
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john, is that bootmaker down in s.e. portland still in business? off of mclaughlin i think it was. friends used to rave about his logging caulks.
(caulks do hobnails one better. or two.)


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 4:56 PM
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Does he also make leather jackets for bikers too? I only vaguely know who you mean.

Nothing but jackboots is good enough for my men.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:00 PM
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Here you go, John.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:06 PM
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i'd have to say it was around mclaughlin and bybee.
got him--it was john newbury. nope, he moved up to vancouver.
damned california yuppies probably gentrifying johnson creek by now.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:06 PM
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115:
Most of these peg fascists are so damned fat that they risk asphyxiation if they bend over far enough to even glimpse their shoes in the first place much less count pegs. Anyway, who would be so insensitive as to criticize girth? Even alluding to the farb factor of beer bellies is akin to pointing out that Jesus' casting of demons into a few thousand pigs and inspiring them to commit suicide was an overt act of animal cruelty (not to mention the ruin of some poor farmers' livelihood). Anyway...if you're a wood peg nazi, leave us alone. And no, we don't know whether it's possible to drill holes in the soles in order to glue in toothpicks to imitate pegs.

Wait, what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:09 PM
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Alternately.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:09 PM
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Never will we know his fabulous head
where the eyes' apples slowly ripened. Yet
his torso glows: a candelabrum set
before his gaze which is pushed back and hid,

restrained and shining. Else the curving breast
could not thus blind you, nor through the soft turn
of the loins could this smile easily have passed
into the bright groins where the genitals burned.

Else stood this stone a fragment and defaced,
with lucent body from the shoulders falling,
too short, not gleaming like a lion's fell;

nor would this star have shaken the shackles off,
bursting with light, until there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.


Posted by: You want emo? You GOT emo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:09 PM
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Alternately.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:09 PM
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Damn if I know how 118 & 120 were both posted.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:10 PM
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117: They're just saying that peg fascists are fat. I mean, come on.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:12 PM
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Can anyone seriously dispute that Nietzsche was emo? I couldn't write something as melodramatic as 87 about someone who fucking stabbed me through the eye with a dirty hypodermic, let alone someone who merely didn't let me steal their girlfriend.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:13 PM
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122 -- stitch nazis, likewise. Kind of funny for a site selling German WWII memorabilia to characterize those they don't like as fascists.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:14 PM
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124: yeah, that was the thing. What kind of nazi, again? You can be a nazi about being a fake nazi? Does that make you a real nazi? Is this like a term of endearment among re-enactors? Do they say like "hey, fascist!" and give each other nazi salutes while making inexplicable Jesus analogies and drinking too much Miller? Do they call the cook the soup nazi and get a big kick out of it, because he's not just the soup nazi, he's a real nazi, or rather a fake real nazi? Is that not completely, completely creepy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:19 PM
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It's like Godwin's singularity.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:19 PM
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call the cook the soup nazi

Far from creepy, that is a beautiful scene to imagine.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:23 PM
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In fact, I'm getting a big kick out of picturing the re-enactors relaxing after their battle, watching Seinfeld reruns.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:24 PM
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Seinfeld fans are all nazis.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:28 PM
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This entire Modern Love column reads more like a textbook success-story speech at an Al-Anon meeting than "this is what some women do." I'm going with Daddy was a drunk.


Posted by: doris | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:33 PM
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123: "To become wise, one must wish to have certain experiences and run, as it were, into their gaping jaws. This, of course, is very dangerous; many a wise guy has been swallowed."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:39 PM
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Some of my thugs wear Size Seven, unfortunately.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 5:59 PM
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60: No, try this for one example of the 1000 yard stare.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:09 PM
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I was remarkably sane and calm, given my background and experiences.

Sure. But don't you think plenty of people can sense the explosives buried under the surface even if they can't articulate what's bothering them? "Sane and calm" does NOT necessarily indicate "harmless"; look at any videos of cats (of any size) stalking for (analogous) examples.

You get along with the 1000 yd stare guys because they're not afraid.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:16 PM
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60: And another


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:19 PM
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135: Here's another, one of the more famous ones.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:25 PM
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134:
or, at any rate, the state they're in does not map easily onto our ordinary categories of fear and lack of fear. "oh dear, i'm afraid i may have left my opera tickets in my other suit-jacket" is not what's driving them. otoh, i wouldn't say these guys look unafraid either. spooked, haunted. really, really tired.

so, awb, are these guys what you had in mind?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:27 PM
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AWB in 62: Robert Burns probably said it best:


O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion;

Back in my frustrated dating days, I once thought about the idea of running a personal ad with that as the lead-in, looking not so much for a woman to be attracted to me but one who would be willing to offer me honest feedback on how I was coming across on dates. I never quite got up the nerve to actually do it, but you're welcome to the idea if you think it would help. Given your background, I'm sure you could develop that theme far more eloquently than I could have.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:27 PM
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I can't believe this NYT article hasn't already been thoroughly dissected on Unfogged:

AS the election of 2008 approaches with its cast of contenders who bring unprecedented diversity to the quest for the White House, the voting public has been called on to ponder several questions: Is America ready for a woman to be president? What about a black man? A Mormon?

Now, with the possible candidacy of Fred D. Thompson, the grandfatherly actor and former Republican senator from Tennessee, whose second wife is almost a quarter-century his junior, comes a less palatable inquiry that is spurring debate in Internet chat rooms, on cable television and on talk radio: Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:29 PM
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Already taken care of, GB, preemptively.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:30 PM
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1000-yard stare talk made me think of Christopher Walken, and that brought me to this Kevin Pollack bit, in which from about 3:00-4:00, he does a genius impersonation of Walken. Worth your time if you're a Walken fan; and who isn't?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:38 PM
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134: I think their emotions are in neutral. IMX massive stress overload from almost anything will do it if it keeps up long enough, you just shut down the emotional reactions and deal with shit until it stops or you break, whichever comes first.

And if you don't break, the experience recalibrates your shitometers. Lots of stuff that used to just doesn't bother you any more.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:49 PM
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Ogged's right with Walken and the 1000 yard stare, I think. It's just another form of the flat-eyed prison yard stare, isn't it? (Scary.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:50 PM
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But not scary on AWB. Unless she wants it to be. And maybe she doesn't have it anyway.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 6:51 PM
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133, 135: You are all sanpaku!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 7:00 PM
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The author has a website at www.saribotton.com. Nothing interesting, really, other than the odd songwriting tries.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 7:48 PM
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17: I agree. People who express their emotions in ways that I find trite or vulgar should be assaulted furiously, particularly if those emotions are unrequited.

It's for his own good. Women generally are repulsed by guys who cry when they break up with them.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:02 PM
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What's it to him, whether she be repulsed by him at that stage in the game?


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:10 PM
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what care i how repulsed she be?

gotta say, gswift, it's a good thing that smokey robinson didn't share your views on this, or we'd never have got the tracks of my tears, ooooh baby baby (i'm crying), and many more.
and i don't remember any girls finding him repulsive back then.

course, what worked for smokey probably wouldn't work for ordinary mortals. and probably even smokey could go to that well one time too many.

still.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:19 PM
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Of course, everyone should want to be married, right? Isnt that the goal? married with kids?

hmmm, not so much.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:34 PM
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138: I could write a book based on the weird feedback I get from dates. It's not incoherent, but it's all very weird.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:44 PM
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AWB:

How do you conduct your polling? written questions, rated on a scale of 1 - 5?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:47 PM
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They volunteer it. Dating me is always metadating.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:49 PM
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Some superfluous paperwork could be a good way of weeding out the needlessly emotional.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:50 PM
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I didn't read the breakup thread, but it's possible that some of those comments could become valuable.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:52 PM
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I actually think you should write a book.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:55 PM
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153:

very odd


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:58 PM
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Ah, yes. What would the world need more than a book about "Things strange men have said about me"?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:58 PM
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I would read such a book.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 8:59 PM
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You might work it up and fictionalize it a bit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:00 PM
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Maybe when I create a seekrit-seekrit blog, I'll fill it with weird dating stories. They're pretty good.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:02 PM
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"Things strange men have said about me"?

Even better: "Strange things men have said about me." Sell the sizzle.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:04 PM
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do you do odd things on dates?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:07 PM
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157: Yeah, I think we've discussed here before that there are things dudes feel the need to say to me that I found out (by posting them here and talking to lots of women friends) no one ever says. That includes explicit descriptions of my body, long descriptions of my personality, and so forth.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:07 PM
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163: I don't think they're so odd, but they often tell me they're pretty thrown by the questions I ask, which seem standard fare to me, nothing licentious or too probing. I remember on my first date with Max I asked him what he was doing on Nerve, like, what was he looking to get from a dating experience, and he was really unnerved by that, in a way that he said later that he deeply appreciated because it made it okay for him to say what he wasn't looking for. I guess I'm not really looking to make someone like me; I am interested in finding out as soon as I can if our desires are incompatible.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:10 PM
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165:

Those seem like normal questions. When I was dating, I wanted to make sure that my intentions were relatively clear. I thought it was healthy to put it out on the table.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:13 PM
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What's it to him, whether she be repulsed by him at that stage in the game?

People, have some pride. More stoic WASPiness please.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:14 PM
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Says the guy whose wie advertises that he gets laid plenty.....


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:16 PM
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wie sb wife


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:16 PM
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About "Tonight": The Concept of the Metadate


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:17 PM
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Says the guy whose wife advertises that he gets laid plenty.....

In my highly scientific survey of "women I've known, and women I've asked on Unfogged", the responses overwhelmingly indicate dudes should keep their tears to themselves.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:22 PM
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I would certainly agree with that. Tears should be left for the birth of your first child. Other than that, you are just a pansy. Ok, maybe it is ok to cry during that scene in March of the Penguins when the babies freeze to death or in Planet Earth when the elephant gets dragged down by the lions. But, other than those times, you are a pansy.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:27 PM
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Crying in front of anyone you don't know well is a disaster. If a woman cried in front of you on your second date, there's a slim chance you might find it endearing, but mostly you'd feel manipulated into something with a possible unstable person. It's no different if a guy cries. I doubt it's that gendered.

That said, Max teared up after I said something nice to him on our second date (after his pretty scarring experience of being left by his wife) and I remember telling friends I thought it was pretty damn endearing. It was a big warning sign, sure, but I wasn't thinking at the time what it was a warning sign of.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:30 PM
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And that said, Max broke up with me for a month the one time I cried during our relationship. So, fuck him. But some women get shit for crying, too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:31 PM
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I agree with AWB. Too much emotion too early can be really scary. Crying definitely needs to come later than sex. But, hopefully not tied together.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:35 PM
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or in Planet Earth when the elephant gets dragged down by the lions.

That sounds awesome. I just got the first DVD from Netflix.

A shout out to the UK guys, generally I like your versions of words, but that pronunciation of "glacier" is atrocious.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:36 PM
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It is an awesome series. We have really enjoyed it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:40 PM
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that pronunciation of "glacier" is atrocious

True. In fairness, 'glay-sher' isn't pretty, but 'glassier' is a comparative adjective, you silly Brits.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:53 PM
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I'm through disk 3 of the 5 disks and it's all friggin' amazing. Will is a total pansy for crying about the elephant; that was an awesome scene.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 9:59 PM
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Look. Rilke hasn't gotten his deserved props here. He dated Lou Salome and when people saw them together they thought she was his mother! Nietzsche or Rilke--more emo? I say Rilke.

the poor, sick man just was not cool enough for Lou Salome, the Maria Montez of her milieu

She sort of was, wasn't she? You know, I'd give a lot to have video of Lou Salome saying "Geeve me that cobra jewel!"


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 10:16 PM
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Oh. This is weird--Sari Botton's Friendster page. Worse than being a headcase, she lists Everything is illuminated as one of her favorite books.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 10:29 PM
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when the babies freeze to death or in Planet Earth when the elephant gets dragged down by the lions.

Cripes, I'm getting all teary. fucking lions.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 10:42 PM
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I bet the people rooting for the lions are the same people who root for Vader.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 10:49 PM
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Lions gotta eat too. But Vader getting chopped up and burned by Obi Wan was one of the few good parts of the newer Star Wars movies.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 10:54 PM
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The new ones don't count; that was Hayden Christensen, not Vader.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 10:55 PM
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in Planet Earth when the elephant gets dragged down by the lions

Thanks for the spoiler warning, will.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 10:59 PM
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That scene is awesome.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 11:10 PM
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Thanks for the spoiler warning, will.

Hey, he didn't say which elephant.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 11:28 PM
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By the way, I was holding off on buying Planet Earth until I got a new Blu-Ray player. But, since you all can't stop raving about how good it is, I broke down and bought the DVD version just now on Amazon.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 11:31 PM
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You won't regret it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 11:34 PM
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Unless, of course, you don't share ogged's bizarre elephant hate.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 11:41 PM
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Youtube excerpts, with all their limitations, compel me to see the series. This bit about snow leopards in the Karakoram is spectacular. The scenery is mind-bendingly awesome, and you have to wonder what incredible lengths they went to to get that footage. It's even got the obligatory rutting and big-cat-goes-after-prey scenes -- on a nearly vertical cliff face. Aagh!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 8-07 11:54 PM
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Arg. I've hesitated to comment on this thread because obviously AWB owns it and last time I commented to her it came off creepy, but on Planet Earth I must break my silence. The lion v. elephant is fucking awesome, but the NPR interview supplied details of the cut footage that made it difficult to watch. Re snow leopards:

link in 192: DO NOT WATCH!!ONE!

Wait until you can watch it on a friends HD, or if you have no friends, until HD access becomes a human right. Planet Earth in general is awesome on HD, but a few sequences are blasphemed by broadcast, and youtube is fucking apostasy. I'm not gay, and I'm not sure that whoever made planet earth likes guys, but I'm sure we can work something out.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:13 AM
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AWB owns it and last time I commented to her it came off creepy,

I only own threads by coming off creepy. It's a requirement, I think.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:18 AM
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Lions taking down a giraffe.

At the very least, go to 1:20 to see the giraffe deliver a sweet kick to a lion coming up behind it. For while there, the giraffe is dragging along multiple lions clinging to its legs. Reminds me of walking around the house with a daughter on each leg.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:25 AM
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Fucking hell stop youtubing this. The american public deserves its gore in HD, I tell you!

194:Thanks.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:28 AM
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re: 192

I don't know if the DVD comes with all the 'making of' stuff, but in the UK as each episode was broadcast it was followed by a 15 minute segment where they talked to the camera people who shot each sequence about how they got it. The snow leopard guy spent literally months staring at one cliff face from inside a tiny tent.

The general rule is that the insane camera guys for BBC wildlife programs are either short Glaswegian guys [all the stuff underwater with leopard seals, with polar bears etc] or what seem like public school English types. Neither of these types of men cry much.

Also, the definitive 1000-yard stare image is Don 'greatest war photographer ever' McCullin's:

http://www.covo-usa.org/vietnambrochure2.jpg


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:32 AM
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Sorry, fm. The people demand nature red in tooth and claw, if not in HD.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:34 AM
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181: Jonathan Livingston Safran Foer fucking owns Nerve personals. It's, like, Everything Is Illuminated, Haruki Murakami, and the rest of the rabble.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:37 AM
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Jonathan Livingston Safran Foer

Awesome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:46 AM
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I used to get HDTV on cable here in Tokyo, way back in 2002, which I fed into a front projector and viewed on a 133" 16x9 screen. Back then, the only stuff in HDTV was stationary images of temples and meadows, plus the occasional soccer match or insipid "variety" show. But even so, it was a life-changing experience. So even though I'll be watching Planet Earth on DVD, I know the feeling of HDTV ecstasy. And it shall be mine again soon. Oh yes, it shall be mine...


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:58 AM
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Dude... the end of the giraffe clip showed the giraffe jumping around with the lions circling closer and closer... and then in the final scene, it's already collapsed on the ground and a lion is chewing its neck. What happened in between? Is this the G-rated version or something? If you are going to film a kill, film the goddamn kill.

Also, about BBC camera men, on the Life of Birds DVD, there's a segment showing how the cameraman sat 100 feet up in a rain forest tree waiting to film this one rare bird, when a lightning storm rolled in. A lightning bolt zapped the other main branch of the tree, sending it crashing down to the forest floor in flames, while the side he was sitting in stayed up, untouched. Pretty crazy.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:20 AM
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Soccer on HDTV is actually quite good, if you're watching skilled teams. I watched chelsea at barcelona last year on a nice tv, and the interplay of art and violence was beautiful.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:21 AM
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202: oh, they most certainly do show the kill in that series.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:22 AM
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i creid at the end of 'peter pan' and during the last episode of Angel one that one main character who dies dies. am i pussy for that.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:22 AM
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#204: So it's on the DVD, but it's cut out of the YouTube clip? Sweet.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:26 AM
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I'm not sure about that specific one. There are some other kills that seemed plenty unexpurgated.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:27 AM
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SPOILER:
What they don't show is the lions,after taking down an elephant, gnaw it to death, while the rest of the [?] elephant group watches. Apparently, this takes some time. Apparently, an elephant can lose a fair amount of flesh and still remain conscious. While multiple lions attack various elephant parts, the elephant cries in pain constantly , and flicks its trunk, which the younger lions gnaw on. This goes on for about 30 min until the more industrious of the lions find its vital organs, at which point it slowly dies.

Are you happy now?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:36 AM
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206: They save the money shot for paying customers.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:38 AM
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#208: That's amazing, especially since they were attacking a giraffe.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:07 AM
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210: it was a disguise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:10 AM
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But lions can identify any disguise.

All of this is in the full DVD, of course.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:10 AM
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210:
Who's attacking a giraffe? Any bitch of a lion can attack a giraffe. Attacking a fucking elephant and eating it alive: that's punk rock.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:20 AM
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Umm... the lions in the clip in #195.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:26 AM
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I was watching "Bridge to Terabitha" on an airplane and found myself struggling to hold back tears. It was terrible and I was very annoyed. There was noplace to hide from the movie on the airplane.

What fascinates me about "Modern Love" is the merchandising of private life for brief minor celebrity, NYT writing credit, etc. Whenever I read those columns the "pay attention to me " subtext always seems drown out the ostensible lesson about romance. I'm not sure I've read one that hasn't made me conclude that the writer is an incredibly narcissistic person.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:33 AM
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sifu: re soup nazis, etc., if you've never read it before, you might be interested to hear about my sister's WWII reënacting thrills.


Posted by: belle waring | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:56 AM
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Awesome! Way to tie it into the chick punching thread, too.

"Heck with her, man. We'll get 'er banned next time. C'mon, cheer up! Seinfeld's on!"

"Say, thanks, Untergruppenführer!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 3:03 AM
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True. In fairness, 'glay-sher' isn't pretty, but 'glassier' is a comparative adjective, you silly Brits.

Hey, it's our language. ("English". Clue's in the name.) When you invent your own language, you can tell us how to pronounce it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 3:31 AM
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Just to split the difference, I don't pronounce it either way. It's /gleɪsiər/. Same as the English English way, except with a different initial vowel sound. Oh yeah, and I pronounce the 'r' at the end.

The English English way sounds fine to me, the 'sh' (IPA /ʃ /) in the middle of the US pronunciation is weird.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 3:38 AM
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180: Rilke, hands down. See The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. See also Rilkes inability to write much of anything for some years after finishing Brigge. Understandable -- how often can one capture the sublime, after all -- but very emo.

183: I find your lack of sympath disturbing.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 4:08 AM
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220: A crucial 'y' has gone missing during the Kessel Run. Did anyone else sense the disturbance?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 4:22 AM
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it was healthy to put it out on the table

Wow, on the first date? How did she respond?

the 'sh' in the middle of the US pronunciation is weird

Except, except what about the thousands of English words which have "ti" or "ci" followed by a vowel at the beginning of the last syllable, in which that letter pair is pronounced 'sh'?


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 4:32 AM
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I really don't see what all the fuss is about with HDTV. NTL Cable has a special "HDTV Preview" channel and I've had a look at it and it looks just like the other channels 3-5.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 5:13 AM
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What kind of television do you have, D^2?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 5:23 AM
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re: 222

Heh, I didn't mean it was weird in general. I familiar with the existence of a 'sh' sound. I mean it sounds weird in that particular word.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 5:51 AM
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Seems pretty non-weird to me. But, I grew up hearing that pronunciation, as, I take it, did gswift and Jesu.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 6:19 AM
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I would think that the "glassier" pronunciation in English English is pretty much restricted to old peoples homes and Buckingham Palace these days. "Glayssier" is in general use. I bet there's more than one pronunciation in the US too.

Who cares, there won't be any in 20 years time.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 6:37 AM
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re: 227

Yeah, that 'glayssier' is the one I use.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 6:39 AM
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There won't be any unicorns, either. Glayssier is rare but not-unheard-of in No. America, but Glay-sure is much more common.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 6:53 AM
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dsquared, assuming you weren't making a joke, you have to have an HDTV-capable TV, the cable box has to be sending its signal to an HDTV-capable input port, and you have to select that input for display on your TV. Many people across America are under the delusion that they are watching HDTV, when they are really watching regular video made even worse by stretching it to fill their 16x9 screens.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 7:00 AM
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Never assume that dsquared is not making a joke.


Posted by: mealworm | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 7:46 AM
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You really don't get the full effect of Bill O'Reilly until you've seen him in HDTV.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 7:49 AM
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I like "glayssier". I like just about all of the more obscure British pronunciations more than ours. Even accenting the first syllable of "debris" is cool because it sends the message "Hey fuckers, this is an English word now, we don't have to imitate the Frenchies".

The exception to this being putting the extra syllable in "laboratory". Come on guys, we know that O is there, just get on with it already.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 7:50 AM
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180: I was thinking of the other one.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 7:53 AM
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233: I've always been partial to "aluminium."


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:04 AM
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235: "Jag-you-ar."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:09 AM
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Al-you-min-ium was expected of me by teachers and others when I immigrated to the US at 12. So was shed-yule. The kind of expectation I've always been pleased to disappoint.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:14 AM
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I myself say "jag-you-ar", that's how cool that one is. Of course I am almost always referring to the brand of car.

I've started moving towards saying "strorbry" instead of "straw-berry", as well. Someone please halt my descent into pretentiousness.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:14 AM
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233: Sniff... I wish the Americans liked me.


Posted by: The first "O" in "laboratory" | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:15 AM
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Either four-syllable pronunciation is okay. Labratory or Laboratry. But not all five syllables, that's silly.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:17 AM
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240: So, you're saying we all want an O in the lab[o]rat[o]ry, we just can't agree on how to time it?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:30 AM
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240 -- what about the pleasantly clipped "lab'rat'ry"? I suppose it might get mixed up with "labratry", the sort of behavior associated with lab rats.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:33 AM
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Oh, come on, people. Pronouncing words in ways that don't fit with your accent is unbelievably stupid-sounding. If you want to overhaul your entire dialect in a small way for some reason, study some IPA vowel charts and do it right. Don't just go all silly and incoherently Brit for 1 out of every 10 words or people will make fun of you behind your back.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:37 AM
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Don't just go all silly and incoherently Brit for 1 out of every 10 words or people will make fun of you behind your back.

Oh, come on, it's an unconscious thing. The way I hear a word in my head is the way I end up pronouncing it. Sometimes I still say "anxiety" as "ankshety".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:41 AM
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(Correction: On discussion with many, many women, it seems to be agreed that no quality more immediately raises in the female heart an inveterate loathing for a man than the affectation of a few foreign-accented words into normal domestic speech, or the clipping of a particular consonant to feign a slightly foreign accent. It makes us want to kill you while you're talking.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:43 AM
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On discussion with many, many women, it seems to be agreed that no quality more immediately raises in the female heart an inveterate loathing for a man than the affectation of a few foreign-accented words into normal domestic speech, or the clipping of a particular consonant to feign a slightly foreign accent. It makes us want to kill you while you're talking.

Why make this a gendered issue? It has the exact same effect on men when women do it. If it seems to be intentional, that is.

c.f. Seinfeld episode "The Truth".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:45 AM
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Fine, if you're just mispronouncing words because you learned them wrong, it's weird but reasonable. But pretending that you somehow learned to pronounce "labOHratry" in Minneapolis or wherever is going to make someone drive a spike into your head.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:45 AM
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Why make this a gendered issue?

I didn't mean to. It's just that the only people I've ever met who do this are dudes, and the conversations that arise are usually among women and gay dudes who can't figure out why exactly that person is so terribly repulsive.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:47 AM
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Ask Bitch about this, actually. She's one of the people who called my attention to this problem among English scholars of historical periods, and now it's driving me nuts.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:48 AM
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It's just that the only people I've ever met who do this are dudes


Really? Someone who works in lit scholarship hasn't heard women pretentiously pronouncing words, ever?

I find that ... surprising.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:51 AM
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I've met a couple males and a couple females who do it. All graduate students in the humanities, of course. Which is to say, they have plausible deniability because they may in fact have been immersed in some European milieu for months. But combined with other affectations, it's clear what's going on.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:52 AM
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246, meet 129.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:54 AM
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250: The only one I can think of is my old advisor, who used to say "litracher," but only ironically, when making fun of snobs. I have not exactly been immersed in pro-snob culture as a graduate student; all my work has been done at underfunded schools with largely working-class student populations. I've heard a lot of ridiculous accents at conferences, but they are mostly, like, extremely rich Indian women raised in Swiss boarding schools who attended college in Boston--that is, a naturally pretentious accent arising from circumstance.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 8:59 AM
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I've heard a lot of ridiculous accents at conferences, but they are mostly, like, extremely rich Indian women raised in Swiss boarding schools who attended college in Boston--that is, a naturally pretentious accent arising from circumstance.

I have as much respect for the striving pretentious snob who arose from humble circumstances as I do for the pretentious snob to the manner born.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:01 AM
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you mean "to the matterhorn"?


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:07 AM
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254: I am driven to murderous rage by upper-crusty folks, but their accents are coherent and it's usually what they're saying that's infuriating. Guys who watched too much Monty Python as kids and can't quip without getting Britty are the ones who make me grit my teeth.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:12 AM
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a) You people are sick freaks.

b) What's Everything Is Illuminated, and why is its presence in a personal ad so disturbing?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:24 AM
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re: 253

I was thinking more of people ostentatiously pronouncing the names of theorists with the 'proper' French pronunciation, or referring to some book by it's less widely used name in it's original language rather than the name everyone knows it by in English. I hear that sort of thing all the time, even from fairly non-pretentious people.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:27 AM
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I was thinking more of people ostentatiously pronouncing the names of theorists with the 'proper' French pronunciation, or referring to some book by it's less widely used name in it's original language rather than the name everyone knows it by in English. I hear that sort of thing all the time, even from fairly non-pretentious people.

I feel a constant pull to do that. If I know the correct way to pronounce something, and it doesn't require using phonemes that aren't found in English, then why intentionally be incorrect?

I feel like saying "Ee-dith Pee-aff" sounds stupid. But if I say "Eh-dit Pyahf" it sounds stupid too.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:40 AM
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257: It's a comic novel about a guy researching his family's experience during the holocaust, with the help of a tour guide who has learned English with a bad dictionary and a thesaurus. I think it's usually a sign in profiles that someone is mildly interested in language, has a mundane-ironic sense of humor, is deeply moved by stuff, and hasn't read many truly great books. I've read parts of it, and wasn't impressed, but a lot of my friends like it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:42 AM
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The only way not to be seen as a snob by some people is never to say any foreign words at all. Or unfamiliar English ones, for that matter.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:44 AM
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257: Illumination. Of a sort. I guess.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:44 AM
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Some people pronounce "Kierkegaard" as "keerkegore," which is apparently more correct somehow. That's extremely annoying.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:48 AM
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The funny ones are the sorts that spent a semester in London in college and the accent just stuck! Nowt to be done but a bat upside the head till the accent unsticks.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:48 AM
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re: 261

Yeah, and of course, sometimes it's just right (godamnit) to pronounce a non-English word properly. I was just questioning AWB's perception that the only people who ever pronounced words pretentiously were male.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:48 AM
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261 gets it right.

If I'm using words like "Gesamtkunstwerk" or "Rimbaud" or "Edith Piaf", I'm already an effete snob. Why not go the extra mile and approximate the actual pronunciation, instead of being stuck in no-man's land between something that sounds like an English word and something that sounds like a French word?

This does not apply to foreign words that the average American knows the correct non-pretentious pronunciation for, like "burrito" or "hors d'oeuvre".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:49 AM
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263: The double 'aa' in Danish is closer to an 'or' sound, but unless you actually speak Danish (and so have the appropriate amount of gravel in your throat), you're going to fuck up the vowel sound anyway, so you might as well sound American rather than pretentious.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:52 AM
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Ned, go with "Ee-dith Pee-aff". Unless you're trying to speak French, borrowed phrases from that language should be rendered in your English accent of choice. Same with Latin - it's Hay-bee-us Corpus, not Ha-bay-arse Corrrrpus.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:53 AM
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I think there's a middle ground when pronouncing foreign words. Like, I'm fluent in Spanish, and have a pretty good South American accent when I'm speaking it. But if I'm, like, ordering in a restaurant, I don't suddenly start placing words in different places in my mouth, though I pronounce them right.

Like, it's one thing to pronounce the right vowels in the name "Derrida"; it's another to make the r all glottal in the midst of a harmless English sentence.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:54 AM
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well I'd set my spread at 3-5 for the number of people who wouldn't get the HDTV joke, so well done Unfogged, I counted only 1 and a half.

"Laboratory" is pronounced "Laboratory" in order to stop it sounding like "Lavatory", you vulgar fiends.

Surely the iron rule on foreign pronunciation of book titles is that you get to say, or write "Das Kapital" or whatever if you're referring to the original language edition which you've read. Otherwise, it's "Capital" for you, sonny (I have had good luck sternly admonishing online libertarians for this one). Exception sometimes permissible for books like "A la recherche du temps perdu", where there's no real agreement on translating the title.

I encountered a wonderful piece of reverse snobbery at the wine bar on Friday, hearing an American woman (although Brits are just as prone to this illiteratism) correct her beau's "Moët" to "Moé[1]". This is both common and frequent; the fucking great umlaut never seems to give anyone a single clue that Moët is not a French name. Presumably this was the same impulse that makes you lot chuck a random acute accent into the Italian word "latte" in coffee shops, although I suppose that it might be the result of mishearing a lazy speaker's "Moët et Chandon".

[1] I imagine this was what was going through her head; it's actually not even possible to properly write this with an e in French; "Moay" was more or less what she said.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:54 AM
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The line of what's pretentious is ever-shifting, which fact keeps this blog in business, frankly. "Rimbo" is ok*, "Keerkegore" is not.

*Not only because Labs does it so well.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:55 AM
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Ned, go with "Ee-dith Pee-aff". Unless you're trying to speak French, borrowed phrases from that language should be rendered in your English accent of choice.

But what does that mean?

French doesn't have the "th" sound, so rendering any French word in any accent should at least maintain that "th" is pronounced "t". It's just as easy to say "Eydit Pyaf", it doesn't require any sounds that are found in French but not in English.

Plus, in some people's idiolects, transposing a word like "Piaf" into English would lead it to be pronounced "Pye-aff". Nobody wants to hear that shit. Englishmen no longer pronounce "Milan" to rhyme with "Fry pan", do they?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:58 AM
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"Laboratory" is pronounced "Laboratory" in order to stop it sounding like "Lavatory", you vulgar fiends.

Why would you use the word "Lavatory"?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:58 AM
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261 -- what is the non-pretentious pronunciation of "Gesamtkunstwerk"? You mean not pronouncing the "w" as a "v"?


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 9:59 AM
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Why would you use the word "Lavatory"?

Because you're to poncey to say "toilet". A bathroom is a room with a bath in it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:00 AM
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I would think "Edit Peeaff" a decent compromise - pronouncing a French Edith as Eedith is pretty fucking studiedly illiterate IMO, but having a go at a French "th" is too much and when inserted into an English sentence will almost certainly result in gobbing on someone. Don't see what's wrong with at least a token roll of the r in Derrida, but some people do go to extremes, and I'd advise against it if you don't actually speak French.

Kingsley Amis on "berks and wankers" (on google I'm sure) pretty much said the lot on this general area by the way.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:02 AM
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Why would you use the word "Lavatory"?

because you might be having a conversation somewhere other than the tap room of the fucking Dog and Duck. Jesus pleasus.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:03 AM
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Englishmen no longer pronounce "Milan" to rhyme with "Fry pan", do they?

Nor do they call it Milano. And they pronounce Paris to rhyme with Harris. I would certainly refer to Piaf as Edith, as I would refer to the founder of the Bourbon dynasty as Henry IV, and Cristobal Colon as Christopher Columbus.

AWB at 269 is in fact about right (exc. Latin, which should be firmly anglicised). But in the middle way, err on the side of the English pronunciation


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:07 AM
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"Paris" is still one of the few words for which the average English-speaker knows a correct, Anglicised pronunciation. Any other French city, people take a stab at replicating the French pronunciation using English phonemes. "Lyon" isn't pronounced like the animal, "Marseille" doesn't contain any L-sounds, and so forth.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:16 AM
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I'd think most British people know how Marseille is pronounced. Never underestimate the educating effect of European football.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:17 AM
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it's Hay-bee-us Corpus, not Ha-bay-arse Corrrrpus

The official Unfogged pronunciation should be 'Heebie-ass corpus.'

Pretentious pronouncers among Anglophones tend to be Eurocentric, scrupulously attending to their French and Spanish while mangling, say, Japanese and Chinese the way everyone else does. The reasons may be obvious, but still, points off.

Here's a question: what do you call that big book by Proust (pronounce that -st!)? The newer, more accurate English title? The venerable, inaccurate title that everyone knows? Or do avoid the question entirely and say À la recherche?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:18 AM
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re: 281

Or just refer to it as 'Prooost' and let people fill in the title.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:20 AM
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That is to say, as a foreign word becomes more and more obscure, it becomes more and more acceptable to pronounce it accurately.

In order to function socially you have to decide whether you're talking to
A) people who have never heard of Serge Gainsbourg before, in which case you use the correct pronunciation in order to communicate that he's French;
B) people who sort of know who he is and that he's French, in which case you just say "Surge Gainsburg";
C) actual francophiles, in which case you once again try to replicate the French pronunciation.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:20 AM
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281 -- dsquared already addressed your question in 270.


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:20 AM
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"Paris" is a tricky one because the stress goes on either the first syllable or the second depending on where it is in the sentence, which is why it's one of the Anglicisations I'd keep (also "Brussels", which is a nice compromise between Bruxelles and Brussel). "Cologne" is pretty unforgivable in all manner of ways, but I'm not planning on being the first or even the second to have a go at Köln in everyday conversation.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:21 AM
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270: "the fucking great umlaut"

Except that umlauts only come attached to the letters o, a and u. (Nur die Buchstaben o, a und u sind mit Umlaute geschmückt.)

What's Moët anyway if not French?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:26 AM
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Lisbon, Seville, Dunkirk, Toulouse, Brussels, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Stockholm(-home), Munich, Geneva(-eeva), Florence, Rome, Naples, Padua, Belgrade, Athens, Bucharest(Bewkarest), Moscow,...

Marseille(s) is rarely pronounced with any 'l's these days, but it doesn't sound very French either - Ma Say. What she say?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:26 AM
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Guys who watched too much Monty Python as kids and can't quip without getting Britty are the ones who make me grit my teeth.

I once had an (American) ex-bf come visit me in Brighton and do the Monty Python accent around my Brit friends for a week. Until, thankfully, one of them told him to knock it the fuck off. Possibly the most cringeworthy thing I've ever experienced.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:28 AM
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284: Ah, so. But I contend that the entire French title would mark one as pretentious. I tend to do as ttaM does in 282, and expect that I'm not talking to some pedantic fuck who feels obligated to demonstrate his/her knowledge of Jean Santeuil.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:29 AM
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285: "I'm not planning on being the first or even the second to have a go at Köln in everyday conversation"

Yes, but have a Kölsch (or five) and all will be well.

And thank goodness for the French, otherwise, we'd be stuck calling that smelly stuff Kölnwasser and wondering what to do about the w.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:30 AM
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You'd probably need more than five Grolsch to get it right if you don't speak Dutch though.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:32 AM
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>"Rimbo" is ok

Ha Ha


Posted by: Sylvester Stallone | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:34 AM
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Moët is Dutch, IIRC, and the man who makes a distinction between umlaut and diaresis is a cad in my book.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:35 AM
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Y'all are making me paranoid. I was (am?) one of those people who mispronounced a lot of words in my own language because I read them more than I heard them - "chaos" was a particular favorite, I pronounced it to rhyme with "house" for a long time. Trying to figure out where on the native-to-Anglicized continuum to pronounce a word in another language - not to mention which points are where - is just going to make me keep even more quiet in person than usual.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:36 AM
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The interesting champers pronunciation conundrum is "Bollinger", btw, which is a Frenchified German name - I think the English "bolinnjer" is as good a throw as any.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:39 AM
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Hint: dictionaries often tell one how to pronounce words.

(But yeah, there's shit I mispronounce too. Mispronunciation is a different kettle of fish than pretentiousness.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:41 AM
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Who wants to try "Sarkozy"?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:42 AM
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The real puzzle is why there isn't already a pornographic film called "Rimbo," and what our role might be in rectifying that.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:43 AM
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"Dvořák" is another good one.

The question of whether to try and pronounce it properly is a moot one. If you aren't Czech, you can't.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:44 AM
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I get very annoyed by hypercorrections like Moay for Moët, and neeswah for niçoise. If you don't know how to pronounce a word, that's fine, but OFE is right: err on the side of Anglicization rather than just making something up and calling it "French."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:47 AM
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Dvorzh-ahk?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:48 AM
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299: The composer who spent time in Spoonerville IA is usually pronounced D'vor-jack by Americans. The American who invented a more efficient typewriter keyboard than QWERTY, whose name lacks the Czech accent, is pronounced D'vor-ack.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:50 AM
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Rimbo The Rectifier.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:50 AM
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The pronunciation of "Sarkozy" would usually depend on how he is doing in the polls


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:50 AM
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I keep trying to think of what to replace "blood" with in "Rambo: First Blood" but only horror results.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:53 AM
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I reminded myself of a time when my friend from high school and I went to Café des Artistes during Restaurant Week. I ordered the prix fixe, and then she pointedly ordered the pree-fee, glancing at me like I'm a dumbass for pronouncing the second x.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:53 AM
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re: 301

It's the r with hacek in the middle that's impossible. It is, as you write, a longish 'a' though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:53 AM
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re: 306

Heh.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 10:59 AM
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Is that called a hacek? I thought Hacek was the bloke who wrote Svejk. How confusing, are there French notables called Circonflexe?

I knew an Englishman of Polish origin whose name was spelled something like Stepanjuk, but he called himself Steeplejack for convenience. That'll puzzle the etymologists in a few generations.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:00 AM
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243, 245, 247: Fuck that noise. Some of us have actually had very upbringings that involved massive amounts of English exposure. My tendencies to say something is made of aluminium or thank someone with "cheers" should be interpreted more charitably.

If someone pronounces a foreign word oddly, cut them some damn slack! Unless they're being bitches about the hyper-corrections such as the Moet mispronounciation*, chances are reasonable that they're someone who just never heard it pronounced out loud before or heard it from someone in a different accent/dialect/language.


* I will admit that I cringed when seeing James Murphy wearing a t-shirt saying "No Moet, No Show-ay" on the most recent LCD Soundsystem tour. Though he's someone who might be pulling the double-secret-ultra-pretension move of ironically wearing that t-shirt to make fun of those who mispronounce the name while also expressing his love of bubbly.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:02 AM
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re: 309

Yeah, the little upside down hat is called a haček [it even contains a haček too, for some nice recursion].

I gather the name for the symbol comes from the word 'hook. So the writer of Svejk was called Mr Spring-glory Hook.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:03 AM
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And, of course, Švejk has a haček too!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:04 AM
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Can I have that for my pseud now?


Posted by: Mr Spring-glory Hook | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:05 AM
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Moët is Dutch, IIRC, and the man who makes a distinction between umlaut and diaresis is a cad in my book.

A principle that needs some reëxamination.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:05 AM
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Just being a cad in someone's book isn't the end of the world, w-lfs-n. Learn to enjoy it.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:06 AM
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Blargh, extra "very" in that one. And I shouldn't be so defensive, since I am guilty of considerable pretension. But I suppose that I also hate people who put on airs, and consider it to be an offense that requires extraordinary proof lest the innocent (such as myself) be condemned.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:09 AM
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316: I think it's pretty easy to tell the difference between an affected every-tenth-word Python-fan "accent" and a transcontinental accent acquired while young. Of course, I say all this as someone who learned Standard American as an adult in voice class. It wasn't that different from the way I spoke before, but the process helped me understand and place a greater variety of American accents, and be understood more easily by students of varying backgrounds.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:17 AM
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Wait, then how does one pronounce Moet? Moh-et? Muht? Y'all are making me feel ignorant...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:27 AM
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316: What was your motivation for trying to learn TV-english? This phenomenon has always puzzled me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:34 AM
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318: Mo-et (within the limits of AWB's Law, established above).


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:36 AM
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"Moet" would presumably be pronounced "Moyt". The name of the champagne is "Mo-et", because it has that umlaut (or diaresis if you're a cad) in it.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:36 AM
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The two dots over the e means that the two vowels are separate syllables. As for the t, I have no idea how anyone would know that the t wasn't silent without hearing it pronounced, but I guess the t isn't silent.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:37 AM
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319: Who said I was trying? My father came over from the UK just after university, and his family was hyper-educated (his dad went to Cambridge, the only two cousins in his generation went to Cambridge and Oxford). I grew up with his accent everyday, and spent a fair amount of time in England visiting that half of my family. Doing my undergrad in England finished the job.

Still, the influence on my accent is minimal, and unless I'm in England and surrounded by the accent, I speak in a fairly typical midwestern style apart from very occasional English verbal tics (more often word choice than pronounciation).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:48 AM
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321: The un-umlaut is rife with its own possibilities for mispronunciation...


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:53 AM
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305: seepage?


Posted by: Clownaesthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 11:58 AM
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Idiolectical materialism inevitably involves criticism and struggle. This is not necessarily a sign of reactionary tendency.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:01 PM
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I ordered the prix fixe, and then she pointedly ordered the pree-fee,

You should then have insisted on the pricks-fiks.

I've always thought the British habit of pronouncing continental words in the most anglo-saxon way possible was a sign of true cultural confidence. It's like they're annexing the other language. Showy displays of foreign pronunciation just indicate that Americans have not yet grown into our confidence as the most powerful and dominant country anywhere ever.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 12:33 PM
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heh, i like to shift around the sound of my proununciation depending on what i'm doing, but i usually leave out or only subtly do the obvious marker like rhotisation or things like that.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:14 PM
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I always thought the American habit of admiring anything the British do, no matter how xenophobic, was a sign of true slavish colonizedation.

I should really go out and get some lunch.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:17 PM
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haha, i was thinking about how awesome it woudl be if the us joined the commonwealth.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 1:38 PM
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Sweeet! I love this therapist! He rocks.

My first marriage broke up (and I'm only 30) because neither one of us knew how to communicate with one another. I've gotten better at it, but one thing that I've found once I started dating again was that most women I know (including my friends) do tend to use Rules-type games.

I think those games are bunk. Anyone that I'm interested in that I find uses those games quickly finds that my interest goes to zero. I don't have time to play those games--I'm a disabled Iraq vet, and I work a crazy schedule.

If you like me, and I like you, why can't we just get together and make things happen?


Posted by: The Raf | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:09 PM
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Thanks for serving, Raf (cue the Brit commenters telling me I'm weird for saying that). But the answr to your question is that that would make us gay, and the one thing you can't be when you're 110% heterosexual is gay.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:20 PM
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i was thinking about how awesome it woudl be if the us joined the commonwealth.

The Commonwealth would join us. We rule now. Actually, judging by Blair's slavish behavior in the Iraq war, they maybe already have.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:20 PM
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Getting along is like a story with no plot, you lose interest quickly.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:42 PM
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well I'd set my spread at 3-5 for the number of people who wouldn't get the HDTV joke, so well done Unfogged, I counted only 1 and a half.

I knew you were joking d^2. I just thought I'd give you an opportunity to say something funny.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 2:48 PM
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Who are all the women that these men claim to know who follow The Rules?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 3:19 PM
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Plenty of Americans can do a fake British accent, but if you've ever heard a British person doing a fake American accent, it's pretty damn funny.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 7:34 PM
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Who are all the women...

I've never in my life heard an actual real-life woman admit to following "The Rules", or even mention it except to rag on it.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 07- 9-07 7:52 PM
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