May 31, 2007

In Defense Of Unoriginal Verbiage
— LauraW.

Rachel Lucas Is A Bitch

I don't really mean that, of course. She seems like a lovely woman. Just coming off mean and persnickety to me lately.

What is it about cliches that so offend people? The reason certain phrases become trite and worn is because they are so useful, after all.
From Ms. Lucas' Guide to Online dating:

7. Do not title your headline, "Carpe Diem." Dude. That is the most hackneyed thing you could possibly say. We're OVER it. Great movie, nice concept, but Jesus H. Christ. Just do not say it.

Hey, WTF is wrong with 'Carpe Diem?' It has become part of the idiom. If this fine, feisty old slogan repels hyper-sophisticated professional snark-demons, single men should put it in their ad headline just for that protective effect.

8. Do not title your headline, "Nice Guy...With An Edge." The primary reason for that is, five billion other guys use the same headline. The secondary reason is because it is meaningless and also sounds really fuckin' silly.

But it's not meaningless, Rachel. It means 'I'm a terrified little boy and please don't hurt me.'

11. Much like #6, do yourself a huge favor and don't say that you "enjoy life." Because, again, NO SHIT. We are all going to go ahead and assume you do, in fact, enjoy life, even if you don't point out such. You may as well tell us that you are glad you can breathe and you don't want to die.

When a guy says he 'enjoys life,' he means, 'intense depressives and bitter divorcees need not respond to this ad.'

I don't know why her post rubbed me the wrong way, exactly. It just seemed unnecessarily critical of people who are just being real.

If a girl is looking for a prose-craftin' wizard to steal her heart away, she's going to date a string of phonies, and miss out on some really great guys.

She also wrote a guide for women.

Pretty much the same thing.
So glad I'm married.

Posted by: LauraW. at 07:55 AM | Comments (67)
Post contains 348 words, total size 2 kb.

1
So glad I'm married.





Then why are you trolling online dating websites?

Posted by: ro-ro at May 31, 2007 08:01 AM (8xCvb)

2 To me, it is a big deal when my 16 year old says he loves life.

He came to me at age 11 after being shuffled around 22 foster homes since the age of five. Before being placed in foster care, he lived on the streets with his mother, who was suicidal and mentally ill. When he came to live with me, he said he would be lucky to end up as a janitor at McDonald's for the rest of his life.

Now, he's somewhat active in my church, loves playing drums, has a really cool girlfriend, and honestly sees a chance to make something of himself.

So, when he says he loves life, it's a big deal to me.

Rachel Lucas *is* a bitch.

Posted by: V the K at May 31, 2007 08:07 AM (PLvLS)

3

I've never actually looked at online dating sites. Well, just once, to make fun of my sister's ex-husband.


Posted by: lauraw at May 31, 2007 08:08 AM (x+kvi)

4 V the K, I admire you. I hope your foster son keeps building on the foundation he's finally getting.

Posted by: PattyAnn at May 31, 2007 08:11 AM (3YtMS)

5

Dear Miss Lucas,


If I have the words 'The Day' tattooed on my penis, is it then okay to headline my online dating ad "Carpe Diem"? 


thanks in advance,


-


Posted by: BumperStickerist at May 31, 2007 08:12 AM (wieXQ)

6

I like the way in #7 she uses about every tired cliche in the book to say Don't Be Hackneyed.


"Dude. That is the most hackneyed thing you could possibly say. We're OVER it. Great movie, nice concept, but Jesus H. Christ. Just do not say it."


For Rachel to get on guys for being hackneyed is like the pot calling the kettle black. I mean, c'mon woman, mote, beam, you know?


Posted by: spongeworthy at May 31, 2007 08:13 AM (uSomN)

7 Spongeworthy, who pissed in your cornflakes?  Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Posted by: Sobek at May 31, 2007 08:15 AM (6GK9U)

8

Laura,


Yes, cliche's do have a usage and it typically is because they have a seed of truth to them.  But consider the context, or say, venue here.  You have the entire english language to construct something descriptive of yourself and who you are...and instead use well-worn phrases that let the reader know actually <i>very little</i> about yourself.


 


Now, you may call, using a cliche of all things to describe yourself when asked "just being <b>real</b>" ...but more people will tend to find it unoriginal and boring.


 


I'm not offended by the use of cliches, but I do have to agree with Rachel here that they are entirely useless and sometimes laughable when used on a dating service to describe yourself to a complete stranger, amongst maybe hundreds of thousands of others that are trying to do the same.


 


 


Posted by: Heralder at May 31, 2007 08:16 AM (J+H5c)

9

oh, i see my manual html tags worked a charm.  /snark


Posted by: Heralder at May 31, 2007 08:18 AM (J+H5c)

10 It's still cool use a picture of my junk in my profile right?

I mean women can't resist a man with two and a half inches of dangling fury.

Posted by: phineas g. at May 31, 2007 08:19 AM (CQcil)

11 I tried dating through the personals several years ago, and everyone intially likes the same shit -- sunsets, holding hands, nice dinners, romance, etc. etc.  Whatever they write to describe themselves is NOT who or what they are.  Sometimes it is very far from who they actually are. 

Posted by: Ken at May 31, 2007 08:21 AM (ztnqg)

12 Hats off to you, V the K!

Posted by: ro-ro at May 31, 2007 08:22 AM (8xCvb)

13 It's still cool use a picture of my junk in my profile right?

I mean women can't resist a man with two and a half inches of dangling fury.

Sucks when it's both short AND skinny...................

Posted by: Ken at May 31, 2007 08:23 AM (ztnqg)

14

OK Heralder; but most people are not wordsmiths in any sense.


A lot of folks really talk like that, and have no idea what to say to differentiate themselves. It's rotten to laugh at them.


Posted by: lauraw at May 31, 2007 08:24 AM (x+kvi)

15 I looked at some dating ads on Yahoo. Half of the women are "independent." The other half are "independant."

Posted by: skinbad at May 31, 2007 08:28 AM (fm4z+)

16 I always liked the political rants at Rachel's old site, and was disappointed to hear that she wouldn't be ranting about politics any more. Dog blogging just doesn't motivate me to visit very often. As to this piece - it's just a light-hearted jab at the foibles of personal ads. I don't think it's worth a very close inspection, nor was it worth the link from Instapundit. I'm not in the dating game, though, so maybe it was crueler to those unhappy souls than I perceive it to be.

I should say, though, that if I ever find myself in the dating scene again, any ad that says: " hyper-sophisticated professional snark-demon" will be at the top of my list.

Posted by: geoff at May 31, 2007 08:29 AM (I/w6Z)

17

Look, let's face it: "online dating profile" is a fancy way of saying "used person ad."  Cliches are useful in that context because as a type of shorthand, they save space and time.  Think of it as the human equivalent of "3BR 2BA split-level in beautiful neighborhood with good schools, w/w, central a/c, FP, WIC, and 2 car gar."


 


Posted by: Rocketeer at May 31, 2007 08:33 AM (GFaLW)

18 I do think, though, that to be completely fair Ms. Lucas should have included her personal ad in the post.

Posted by: geoff at May 31, 2007 08:34 AM (I/w6Z)

19

Laura,


 


Of course not...but you certainly don't need to be a professional novelist to write a sentence about yourself that isn't just taken from someone else.  If someone really is terrible with words, it makes one question as to why they're marketing themselves through an online dating service where that is the primary medium.  Being original isn't easy and most of the time it's nigh impossible, but I think the effort is intrinsically important, especially, as i said, given the venue.


 


As far as laughing at them being rotten:  Well, let's just say if you've ever had the chance to do online dating, you get over those sentiments real quick.


 


Posted by: Heralder at May 31, 2007 08:35 AM (J+H5c)

20 Actually, for those of you who were put off by her list, you might enjoy:

1) writing the perfect Rachel Lucas personals ad
2) writing the personals ad most likely to attract Rachel Lucas
or
3) writing the personals ad most likely to get Ace a date with Rachel

Posted by: geoff at May 31, 2007 08:36 AM (I/w6Z)

21 Touché.

Posted by: lauraw at May 31, 2007 08:37 AM (x+kvi)

22 #21 was meant for Heralder

Posted by: lauraw at May 31, 2007 08:38 AM (x+kvi)

23 Late 30s classic, low mileage, one owner, frame off resto w/ newly enlarged headlights. Frenched & channeled with custom paint. Good either sporty weekend racer or daily driver, 0-60 in 5 secs - no warmup nec., new man. trans., tan ext., black top, buttery soft like-new interior.  Must see to believe.  Call for test drive.

Posted by: The Kind of Online Ad rocketeer Would Respond To at May 31, 2007 08:45 AM (GFaLW)

24 As far as laughing at them being rotten:  Well, let's just say if
you've ever had the chance to do online dating, you get over those
sentiments real quick.

I kinda see both of your sides, but when people say they like walks on the beach or "I'm just as comfortable in a ballcap or in an evening gown":

1) They do somewhere inside their heads believe that, even if they actually spend every night watching SportsCenter or  HGTV.

2) It doesn't make them bad people, just bad writers. Frequently they ARE bad people, and frequently they flat out lie which is also bad, but the combination of cliche and wishful thinking doesn't make them bad. 

Posted by: JSinger at May 31, 2007 08:47 AM (EqFh0)

25

So glad I'm married.


Now when I first read this I thought it was written by Ace so I wanted to ask about where marrying trannies was legal.  Yet then I finally noticed the "LauraW" so I don't really know what to say.  Of course it did start out good with her calling Lucas a bitch so this does raise the possibility of a very entertaining cat-fight.  Mud.  We need a pool of mud and skimpy bikinis to complete this.


Posted by: John at May 31, 2007 08:58 AM (QC96i)

26

Laura,


 


Who you calling touchy!?


Oh, ... nevermind.


Posted by: Heralder at May 31, 2007 09:02 AM (J+H5c)

27

OK, good to know.  I just updated my AdultFriendFinder page to read:


"Single (no kids), D/D free, wealthy, self-employed, huge-cocked money tree seeks fine dining and snuggling with anyone over 21.  Looks unimportant, but safe sex (if we ever get that far!) is a must."


So ... what say you ladies now?


Posted by: Limp at work at May 31, 2007 09:11 AM (kVUW4)

28

Sassy, and delightful.  Mirthy, with just a hint of original thought.


 


In case I ever need one, I'm going with this.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at May 31, 2007 09:17 AM (pzen5)

29

Sassy, and delightful.  Mirthy, with just a hint of original thought.


In case I ever need one, I'm going with this.


So you've decided to advertise on the femme side of the gay online personals, eh?  If you can work in the words "fierce" or "fabulous" somewhere in there you are practically guaranteed a hundred or so dates.  Of course many might be a tad on the beefy, hairy side...


Posted by: John at May 31, 2007 09:53 AM (QC96i)

30 Oh JESUS, if I have to read another ad using the words 'fierce' or 'fabulous,' I'm going to throw up.

Posted by: Hyper-Sophisticated Gay Man at May 31, 2007 10:00 AM (QoFZ8)

31

I didn't even know that Rachel was blogging again. (Thanks for leeting me know, geoff). Anyway, Rachel is cool and she's probably right.


 


Posted by: Bart at May 31, 2007 10:01 AM (zHDds)

32 Thanks for leeting me know, geoff

Hey, I put up a post on it at my blog a week and a half ago. If you were one of the teeming multitude who visit (singular intended), you'd have known about it.

Posted by: geoff at May 31, 2007 10:05 AM (I/w6Z)

33

Oh, you have a blog?


Nevermind. You'll probably quit it as soon I start visiting.


Posted by: Bart at May 31, 2007 10:25 AM (zHDds)

34

Carpe Dave in Texas


 


I like that one too.


Posted by: Dave in Texas at May 31, 2007 10:42 AM (pzen5)

35

Fit, professional male, washes ass twice daily.


Snuggy huggybear with an edge.


SWM, 36, likes walks on the beach and cuddling with artificial vagina.


Zany, wacky jihadist seeks fun-loving mate for mutual Jew-Pig hatred.


 


Posted by: Warden at May 31, 2007 11:07 AM (Mo8Oa)

36 She quit blogging once -- maybe twice -- before, with much fanfare. Now she decides to grace the blogosphere with her presence once more, and instapundit gives her two links in her first few weeks back. What's up with that?

Posted by: DaveG at May 31, 2007 11:10 AM (GxuRZ)

37 instapundit gives her two links in her first few weeks back. What's up with that?

She's cute. Which is like crack for Insty.

Posted by: geoff at May 31, 2007 11:12 AM (I/w6Z)

38
Just as comfortable in a baseball cap or full body chain mail.

Posted by: Hyper-Sophisticated Gay Man at May 31, 2007 11:13 AM (lhKXH)

39

oopsie. forgot to change my name back


 


Posted by: oops at May 31, 2007 11:14 AM (lhKXH)

40

Just as comfortable in a ball cap or up to my arms in bloody pig innards.


Likes long walks on the beach with legless hobos.


Bukkake fan seeks good Christian woman to turn the other cheek.


 


 


Posted by: Warden at May 31, 2007 11:28 AM (Mo8Oa)

41 Sorry, Ace. Lucas is right here. The online personals is like selling a used car. Except you're selling, well you.

Buyers want to know: how many miles, condition, any sale-killing isues like paint, engine, transmission problems. Also you have to position yourself as a Luxury Car in near mint condition not a beater for getting groceries or what have you.

Basically the ad has to be crafted to lead women to believe you make a lot of money, have a lot of status, and don't have kids, exes, etc. In other words, lie lie lie.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at May 31, 2007 11:31 AM (4878o)

42 We need a pool of mud and skimpy bikinis to complete this.

You'd look crappy in a skimpy bikini, John...


Posted by: OregonMuse at May 31, 2007 11:46 AM (efWVJ)

43 Just as comfortable in a ball cap or straightjacket.

Likes long walks back and forth in front of your house late at night, again and again, especially after we've broken up.

Hobbies: collecting restraining orders


Posted by: OregonMuse at May 31, 2007 11:51 AM (efWVJ)

44

#5 Bumperstickerist:


If I have the words 'The Day' tattooed on my penis, is it then okay to headline my online dating ad "Carpe Diem"? 


Have the tatoo artist use 4pt type to avoid word wrap. Carpe Diem, indeed.


----------


LauraW:


I don't know why her post rubbed me the wrong way, exactly. It just seemed unnecessarily critical of people who are just being real.


Since there are no snarky posts on this site, what's the problem? She takes a shot at both men and women and the idiotic crap they write for dating services. Anyone using these services is likely to wind up with Charlie Manson or Squeaky From. She is making fun of generalities that are real boring.


--------------


#18 Geoff:


I do think, though, that to be completely fair Ms. Lucas should have included her personal ad in the post.


I think you would be absolutely right had she posted and indentified anyone's personal ad, which she scrupulously does not. She writes well and could have done an incredibly vicious hatchet job on someone.


---------------


I detect a lot of thin skins here. For Rachel to have singled anyone out would have been shitty. What she did is really funny.


Posted by: Mark at May 31, 2007 12:34 PM (AUvbM)

45

You'd look crappy in a skimpy bikini, John...


Well I wasn't talking about me in a bikini, I do have some good taste after all, but LauraW vs. Lucas. 


Posted by: John at May 31, 2007 12:40 PM (QC96i)

46

Hmmm... I think it would be difficult to write a personal ad. I just tried to think of what I would write. Not easy. (and NO, I don't need any of you to write on for me...thankyouverymuch)


My daughter's boyfriend's best friend just became engaged. He's 23 and they met on e-harmony. They lived close to each other and even knew some of the same people and had the same interests, but just never met.


I can tell you this. If I was dating, I would get an intensive background check on every one I went out with. If it looked serious, I would talk to ex-wives and girlfriends ect.


Cuz I'm paranoid that way.


Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at May 31, 2007 12:55 PM (ndZwv)

47 I think you would be absolutely right had she posted and indentified anyone's personal ad, which she scrupulously does not.

Maybe. On the other hand, if you're going to go with a broadbrush slam of a bunch of hapless suitors and suitorettes, it'd be nice to show what you consider to be an acceptable ad.

Posted by: geoff at May 31, 2007 01:52 PM (I/w6Z)

48

Rachel Lucas was a blogging pioneer!


If it weren't for RACHEL LUCUS, I would never have found Ace of Spades HQ.


Remember the little self-descriptive slogan she had? I think it was three p's.


Piquance was one of the p's. What were the other two, anyone know?


Posted by: bartwing plover at May 31, 2007 02:35 PM (8nx0b)

49 Cliches are useful for spotting people who think in cliches.  Why does Rachel want to make it harder for folks to find what they're (not) looking for on the internets?

Posted by: someone at May 31, 2007 02:59 PM (TXnhk)

50 Well, there are better ways of writing a personal ad, but they're not easy.   Rachel's whole post was  a cliche.

 My personal technique: "Professional mistress seeks keeper/protector."



Posted by: someone2 at May 31, 2007 03:45 PM (gbH+r)

51

One of them was 'Ordnance,' bartwing plover.


And any number of asshats&trade; would write to her that she was a dunce because she mispelled 'ordinance.'


Good times.


Posted by: lauraw at May 31, 2007 03:54 PM (eXdIs)

52 dammitTM

Posted by: lauraw at May 31, 2007 03:57 PM (DbybK)

53

ORDNANCE!


 


Thank you, lawrawing plover.


Posted by: bartwing plover at May 31, 2007 03:58 PM (ysKC1)

54

Wait.


So did all three words end in -ance?


Posted by: bartwing plover at May 31, 2007 03:59 PM (ysKC1)

55

petulance?


persistence?


 


Posted by: bartwing plover at May 31, 2007 04:00 PM (ysKC1)

56

Slightly OT but related to #48:  I found Ace from Rathergate.com, back in the day.  Ace was the second place I visited daily, and arrived from the link on the right side of the page.


I've given up on dating services, but a buddy of mine found a soulmate through e-harmony.


Posted by: Phoenix at May 31, 2007 04:01 PM (PVnLr)

57 The last one was "impudence."

Posted by: geoff at May 31, 2007 05:09 PM (I/w6Z)

58

impudence


thanks, GEOFF.


Posted by: bartwing plover at May 31, 2007 05:47 PM (8kpQa)

59 I wonder if Carpet Diem is considered a cliche for lesbian personal ads.

Posted by: darkbhudda at May 31, 2007 11:11 PM (rsksa)

60 piquance.

Posted by: apotheosis at June 01, 2007 04:06 AM (CiAHf)

61

Well, I've tried online dating and let me just say this. Every. Single. Woman. LOVES. to travel.


All of them.


To say that reading about that at this point is boring/depressing/uninteresting is a dramatic understatment.


I've read so many "I'm the girl next door" and "just as comfortable in a ball cap as an evening gown" I can't even say.


Also, the women just love to show up 30-50 lbs heavier than their photos.


Which may or may not have been them in the first place.


Still, those sites are cash cows.


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62 Knocking people who are lonely isn't funny.

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