Dating in the Dark

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Nov 24 01:26:58 UTC 2009

At 4:54 PM -0500 11/23/09, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>At 11/23/2009 12:31 PM, ronbutters at AOL.COM wrote:
>>The practice goes back to Ancient Greece. I believe it was Socrates
>>who said (rough translation), "When the lights are out, all women
>>and most guys are sexy hot"!
>For every adage, one can find its contradiction.  "In the dark, all
>cats are gray."  Dating in the Dark must be ideal for the indecisive.

I was thinking of that one too in connection with the new dating
craze about whose existence Jon enlightened (or endarkened) us.  But
I don't read the "all cats are gray" adage as a negative and thus a
contradictory of the phenomena under consideration here--it's more
like a way of emphasizing the lack of any differentiating principle,
hence consistent with the goal of the social gatherings mentioned
below.  If all are gray, one's as lovely as another.  (Grope-a-hope?)
It's also used to urge against judging a book by its cover, on the
theory that inner beauty (or at least the outer feel of that cover
with eyes wide shut) is what counts, and hence precisely that it's
better, in the words of the master, to "interact at a more profound
level than mere appearances".

Then, of course, there's the related principle of "beer goggles", and
country songs to the same effect, but that's more a matter of
threshold than parameter setting.

>>------Original Message------
>>From: Laurence Horn
>>Sender: ADS-L
>>To: ADS-L
>>ReplyTo: ADS-L
>>Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Dating in the Dark
>>Sent: Nov 23, 2009 11:20 AM
>>At 7:55 AM -0500 11/23/09, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>>CNN ran a story today on "Dating in the Dark," a social event at which
>>>singles mingle in pitch blackness so they'll interact at a more profound
>>>level than mere appearances. Outside, they see who's who.
>>>At the bottom of the screen appeared a panel reading "Grope-A-Dope."
>>>Which is the real message of this post.
>>I've heard about parties like that, except for the "outside" part.
>>Maybe those are the "Ignorance is Bliss" parties.
>>The American Dialect Society -
>>Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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