Sunday, February 27, 2011

Terms of Endearment

Some time back I met a middle-aged couple, the man of which introduced the lady with him as his "girlfriend!"  Now I don't want to be hard, but she was way beyond the sell-by-date on being a girl.  I also thought that had she been introduced in corporate life as the girl in charge of say HR, there would have been a serious upset, and the offending introducer dragged off to sensitivity training.

The fact remains that life is more complicated these days in relationships and perhaps we need to revamp some of the language.  Up through the 70's you were boyfriend/girlfriend; fiance/fiancee; then husband/wife.  Simple stuff.  But what is one to make of the late bloomers who have as yet to make up their minds in a relationship that has been going on a long time.  "Man" or "Woman," seems a bit abrupt; "Fiance" or Fiancee" assumes perhaps a little too much; "Partner" has a tough of "gayness" about it, and "Lover" has too much information. 

We need an in-between, preferably gender neutral term for this problem.  I have a suggestion - Amia/Amio!  It's not in any dictionary as I made it up myself, but I think it would work as it has a little Continental romance about it, but doesn't make any serious commitment.  So I'm putting it out there and for a period without any charge.  Please feel free to use it as you wish.

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