Friday, August 13, 2010

Manning It Up

I have noticed, in recent months, a disturbing trend.

Manscape, bromance, mantrum, manorexia.  These terms are, of course, the "male" versions of various nouns and verbs.

Manscape: when a man grooms his face.

Bromance: when two dudes have a close, totally non-gay friendship that involves manly sharing of confidences and occasional shameful tears.

Mantrum: when a man throws a tantrum.

Manorexia: when a man has anorexia.

Here's my problem, particularly with the last two: none of these words were previously defined as female-only, so to designate a special word for the "man" version implies that the "regular" version is, in fact, a female version, which is totally unfair.

Mantrum, for example, really chaps my burrito.  Because only women and small children throw tantrums, right?  If a man throws a tantrum, we have to have a special word for it, because men are ordinarily so stoic and calm that the throwing of a tantrum is an event worthy of word coinage.

You cannot see, but I hope you can sense, my eyeballs rolling into the back of my head at the absurdity of this logic.  Because the media, in its J-Lo induced frenzy to coin the new "hot phrase," is using the monkey/typewriter method: they're typing a bunch of poop and then throwing it at us to see what sticks.  Here are some of the other non-words we've been plagued with recently:

Nappetizer: when you take a nap right before bedtime.

Nontree: when you order an appetizer as your meal.

Staycation: when you stay at home instead of going out of town.

None of these are new concepts, right?  So what the media is basically doing here is taking an existing concept, coining a word, and then publishing an article about it claiming it is a "trend," hence the cute new word.

So here's my report on the latest trend: "Mannaptrums."  Here's my new report:

HOUSTON - Style watchers are reporting a new trend in male behavior, called "Mannaptrums."  Businesses and corporations, in response to this growing trend among males aged 29-54, are installing mannaptrum counselors and scheduled down time to deal with the problem.

"A mannaptrum," explains Shirley McDoody, someone who works here in some capacity, "is when a man gets sleepy and then he gets cranky and needs a nap.  Clearly, this is a detriment to the business world, so the mannaptrum counseling and intervention is a nap designed to circumvent the possible business-hampering tantrum."

"I think it's great," says Sven Folksypants, a teacher, father, and devastatingly handsome man-about-town.  "Now that I have a word for this, I can get away with telling my wife that I have to do it.  Hopefully they won't ever have a womannaptrum, because then the floor wouldn't ever get vacuumed."

I think it's going to catch on.


Kristina P. said...

I have never heard of this Mantrum thing. My life is so deprived.

Mummy McTavish said...

hey, I tell people to take a chillaxative... I believe some very cool person threw that in my direction and it stuck. It's great to diffuse an unnecessecesecsesssarily (sorry, it carried me away) tense situation. I love your social commentary posts! I love ALL your posts!

Owen said...

Manscaping generally indicates that the grooming takes place below the neckline, sunshine. (Yeah so it's a lame "Chess" reference, wanna fight about it?!)

Deb said...

You win the obscurity prize this week, Owen.

Barbaloot said...

I just say like Amanda Bynes in "She's the Man:" Be a man. Rub some dirt in it!

That's how I prefer my men:)

Billy Bob Bambino Bombabious Baby the Third said...

What about all those unflattering "man" words like:





and worst - manwich...

And for the record, I know that some of those words come from the Latin root "manos" meaning hand, but that's even more disturbing. Who wants to eat a hand sandwich?!?