Looking for the right word (was Re: Deep Secret, Spoiler Space, Merlin)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Apr 30 07:09:54 EDT 2003


Emma wrote from Australia:

>At 12:25  28/04/03 +0100, minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
>>I don't think "affair" carries particularly negative baggage in
>>general-usage English English nowadays, unless it has a negative qualifier
>>like "clandestine" or "illicit" or "hole-in-corner" or some such.  It's
>>just a fairly neutral way of saying "more than just good friends but not
>>very serious", where one would say "relationship" if the people were seeing
>>or sleeping with each other regularly and to the exclusion of other
>>partners, living on the same premises with goods held in common, or had
>>children, but hadn't gone through a ceremony of marriage.  "Relationship"
>>might indicate fidelity; "affair" wouldn't but wouldn't necessarily suggest
>>promiscuity.  What would the word in US English for seeing each other
>>occasionally, possibly with sex but without any particular intention of
>>permanence, and without either guilt or blame being implied?
>
>I would use affair in this sense, but after asking accessible family and
>friends I found they all see affair as having negative connotations and
>"fling" seems to be the word most popular for a more temporary/casual
>relationship.

"Fling" is just exactly right but I'd forgotten its existence -- thank you!
(And a couple of other people have used it but I can't remember who they
are, sorry.)  I also forgot "they're an item", which is current among at
least some of the people I know between the ages of twelve and twenty-five
(my children and their friends and the students I'm doing my degree with)
to describe what used to be called "going steady" in some distant past era.

I don't think Zinka and Rupert were ever an item.  My daughter of seventeen
says they were probably "bundle-bunnies", for what that's worth.... :-)

I am now entirely sure that this was after Zinka and Simon got married.
The Sherlock Holmes reasoning about when who became a magid convinces me.
So Z&R couldn't have been an item, could they...

Minnow


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