Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Why is "husband" so hard to remember?
Because I have 7 1/2 years practice saying "boyfriend." What's really weird is that it isn't a problem in public, but at home. I automatically say things like, "You're the best boyfriend ever." And then I'm forced to add, "I mean husband. Yes, that's the one." This leads me to one sad conclusion: those phrases have lost word-level semantic meaning for me. The meaning is in the phrase as a whole, like how people can say and use correctly "Je ne sais quoi" or "c'est la vie" without knowing what the actual words mean because they don't speak French. Still, it's particularly weird to me because I was so sick of the term "boyfriend." It just didn't accurately represent our relationship anymore. Who knew that familiarity (with the term) would breed both contempt and fear of change?