THOMAS M. PAIKEDAY
t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA
Tue Oct 22 15:59:08 UTC 2002
Thanks Doug, David Bergdahl.
Now that Michelle has got the job, I'll certainly explore her meaning
further. The problem I have with a synonym like "perfectionist" (n. & adj.)
is, is it substitutable for "anal" in idiomatic utterances?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
To: <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 11:16 AM
Subject: Re: "That's anal!"
> >Michelle remarked the firing was anal!
> Without having the acquaintance of Michelle, one cannot be certain of the
> meaning. But I don't think the story supports "anal" = "fussy". If it were
> "The boss fired her for splitting an infinitive; the boss's behavior was
> anal[-retentive]", OK; but "The boss fired her for rudeness; the boss's
> behavior was anal" calls for a different interpretation.
> I would suggest a superficial interpretation: just as "The boss behaved
> like an ass" > "The firing was asinine", one can have "The boss behaved
> like an asshole" > "The firing was anal". This is not an unknown usage; in
> fact I've encountered "anal" more often than "assholish" as the adjective
> corresponding to "asshole" although both are infrequent in my experience.
> This interpretation would be in line with Michelle's confusion at the
> questions about meticulousness ... and perhaps she does not wish to
> by applying the word "asshole" to the boss during her job interview?
> -- Doug Wilson
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