RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Mon Apr 11 14:40:36 UTC 2005

In a message dated 4/10/05 2:03:55 AM, wilson.gray at RCN.COM writes:

> I'm not. "Constant companion" and "long-term companion" are two sides
> of the same coin. "Special friend" sounds like a term from elementary
> school or from a Hallmark card. FWIW, "constant/long-term companion"
> antedates the rat pack by perhaps 15 years. If you've heard or read of
> the members of the rat pack referred to as "constant companions," then
> you're a better man than I, Gunga Ron. As for the claim that Little
> Lulu and Tubby enjoyed a sexual relationship, I have no knowledge of
> their private lives beyond what was portrayed in comic strips and in
> animated cartoons. As for what the meaning of "constant companion" may
> be in the English of 2005 as opposed to the meaning that it had in
> 1945, I don't care.

Well, no. Tonto in 1945 was The Lone Ranger's FAITHFUL INDIAN COMPANION.
ROBIN was Batman's YOUTHFUL COMPANION. Pat Butram was Hopalong Cassidy's CONSTANT
COMPANION. In no case did these synonyms, though "the [other] side of the
[semantic] coin" from each other, did not imply a sexual relatiohsip. However,
"special friend" is a well-documented euphemism from that period and earlier.

Denotatively, CONSTANT COMPANION and LONG-TERM COMPANION are not even quite
the same thing, but connotatively--as the cites shown by others here clearly
demonstrate--CONSTANT COMPANION is rarely if ever used to refer to a sexual
relationship. It is NOT a euphemism. LONG-TERM COMPANION is a euphemism, as is (or
was) SPECIAL FRIEND (alternatively, as Arnold Zwicky puts it, UH, FRIEND).

I have been following this thread fairly closely, and I have not seen anyone
make "claims" about Little Lulu's sex life. My guess is that Mr. Gray was not
too concerned about what people said about nontraditional relationships in
1945, and therefore he has a fuzzy memory about the connotations of the words.

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