Sunday, May 17, 2009

Do You Blog in "Himglish" or "Femalese"?

Jean Edelstein has a new book coming out entitled Himglish and Femalese. The author is describing the differences between male and female English - the work is reminiscent of You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by linguist Deborah Tannen and “Yup.” “Nope.” “Maybe.” A Woman’s Guide to Getting More Out of the Language of Men by therapist / counselors Stephen James and David Thomas.

So do you think Edelstein is a man or a woman? And might this writer write more in Himglish or in Femalese? Do you email, txt, or twitter in one of these gendered languages? And which do you identify more with as you read my blog and blog yourself?

Look, listen, from Jean Hannah Edelstein on the differences between women and men writing in love in her post, "Lost in translation: Men and women speak different languages, and now, with text, e-mail and twitter, our wires get utterly crossed." Hear - here are some examples, so as not to get your wires too crossed, in which "Jonathon" is the man writing "Himglish" and "Alice" is the woman writing "Femalese" [and the portion I've put the brackets around is Edelstein herself explaining "What she / he really means"]:

Femalese E-mail

To Jonathan Himglish From Alice Femalese

Hi Jonathan, It was lovely to meet you at the party on Friday. Did you have a good time? I did. What an amazing DJ! Anyway, work has been so busy this week, I am really looking forward to taking it easy this weekend, although I’d quite like to catch a film or something. What have you got planned? Alice x

[What she really means Will you go out with me this weekend? Please note I have signed this e-mail with an “x”, indicating my romantic interest (you will only get more kisses once we are properly dating).]

Himglish E-mail

To Alice Femalese From Jonathan Himglish

Hi Alice, Great to meet you too. Yes, I think I’ll also be laying low this weekend. I also enjoy films — maybe I’ll see that new one with Seth Rogen in it. Jonathan x

[What he really means I am rather oblivious and have terrible taste in films.]

Femalese post-date tweet

Alicefemalese Just had the most amazing night with a new friend.

[What she really means I just went on a really hot date and am totally smitten.

What he thinks she means I went out with this guy tonight, but I don’t fancy him. I guess we can be friends, though.]

Himglish text message

Thanks for a great night! I hope I can see you again soon. J

[Her reaction “Great night”? What does he mean by “great”? What a dull adjective. Wouldn’t he say “lovely’ or “amazing” if he really liked me? And he didn’t sign with a kiss. I’m sure he signed one of his previous texts with a kiss. Does this mean he doesn’t fancy me? I don’t think he does. This is awful. I’d better call my best friend and discuss this terrible development with her for at least three hours.]

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