Symmetry
I like symmetry in words.

I like small, medium, large. It’s got a nice balance to it. Three general sizes that anyone can relate to, in a nice, logical order. I tend to think of extra large as a cop out. It should be something more like “massive.” And it should go on from there: jumbo, gargantuan, colossal, monolithic. I bet it would inspire more diets if people had to ask, “Do you have this in a whopping?”

I also like ready, set, go. The three states of a task or an action, and in the only order that makes sense. You wouldn’t go before you were ready. It works well.

But I recall that someone once asked me, “Hey, since Emily is blonde and Emily is brunette, does that make you the redhead?” It was a funny line, but I was struck with the asymmetry of the phrase.

Blonde, brunette, redhead. Not even red hair or red haired but redhead. Like there isn’t even any hair involved at all. If I spend too much time in the sun without a hat and without sunscreen, I’ll show you a redhead. It seems like if you were going to go by color like that, it would be more like yellowhead, brownhead (or blackhead, but … ewwww), and redhead. The British have it all figured out – blonde, brunette, and ginger.

I don’t know. I guess one thing is certain – the thought of your sailing ship being boarded by the nefarious Brunettebeard the Pirate wouldn’t have inspired as much fear, would it?


By Steve Boudreault


 


Comments

10/28/2014 2:12am

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