Vocabulary for Dating

W00t earlier today my second published story went live over at the Bold Italic! http://www.thebolditalic.com/ChinHuaLu/stories/2889-the-top-10-typical-dating-profiles

Bold Italic Chin Lu Top 10 Dating Profiles

I am very surprised that so far no one has left a “Who does this chick think she is for writing this? She’s only 25!” sort of comment, but maybe that will come later. I mean, it’s true- There are a lot I haven’t experienced yet and my dating history definitely does not make me seem like an expert in the field, but how else am I supposed to learn? Not through avoiding trying or never discussing it with others.

And since we’re on the topic of romance…Recently I’ve come to the realization that my friends and I often use words carelessly when talking about dates.

Let me explain myself first: When I was a mass communications major, we learned about semiotics and their importance. For instance, the word “Dog” signals to you the common domesticated four-legged mammal, but we had to learn that. The word “Dog” is a signifier and such animal is the signified. (Read more about signs here if you’re curious) When you were a kid, you had to receive instructions and cues in order to understand that while a Chihuahua looks and sounds very different from an Alaskan Husky, they still both count as dogs. And this is another common example: the Eskimos have multiple words for different kinds of snow and ice because cold weather is so prevalent in their every day life.

The kind of vocabulary you possess from a language influences the way you think about things. It’s difficult or sometimes even impossible to have meaningful thoughts about something if you are unable to put words to it, even just in your mind.

Anyway, I’ve noticed lately that I need to clarify more when I talk about dating because if I’m able to get my definitions and concepts straight, then I can think about it more clearly.

There are two major phrases that leaped out at me.

When I say “He was nice,” what exactly do I mean? Is it that he’s a morally good person, as in he’ll voluntarily help an old lady carry a heavy bag up the stairs when the BART station’s escalator breaks down? (Oh I’m looking at you, 16th St. Mission!) Or do I want to let my friends know that he was gentlemanly to me? Or even a third possible meaning is good compatibility or chemistry. These are all very different things. Sure, they may overlap sometimes but other times they’re completely separate from one another.

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