Tuesday, July 04, 2006

creeping scourge

I wanted incidentally to add some text to the picture below (let your yeah...) because the way it is it looks like some kind of 'magic happens' pixie wish picture, but every time I tried I deleted the picture, so I guess I am stuck with it the way it is. Luckily I can't remember what I wanted to say.

The creeping scourge I'm thinking of is not the badness of blogger formatting, but the phrase 'a little bit pregnant'. If we don't nip this bugger in the bud it's going to shape our thinking for the eternal worse. I have heard it used about three times in the last week, once on television, once on radio and once at a nearby table in a cafe when the phrase itself just leapt out of a conversation I had not otherwise been listening to and was accompanied by a whole lot of snide laughter.

The meaning of 'a little bit pregnant', the way most people use it, is essentially that you can't be a little bit pregnant - you either are or you aren't. Fair enough in a sense. It has a mildly sensationalist feel to it and also a slightly ribald tone, I suppose, as well as arguably a subtext of 'stupid women in denial', but essentially it has a meaning unto itself. Except it seems to mean more than that to most people, and this extra meaning reflects our ne0-con world. Most people who use the phrase use it not merely to indicate that pregnancy is a life-affecting condition that needs to be addressed, but that it is more than undeniable: it always results in offspring. See for instance here, this one which is about something I simply do not understand but seems to use the phrase in the way I'm criticising, here, this attractive site, and so on ad nauseam.

As everyone knows, a significant number of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and another significant number are terminated. The women who were at one time 'a little bit pregnant' were actually just that. Being a little bit pregnant is nothing like being a little bit lame, unless you consider them as both being up for treatment, in which case they're somewhat identical. Or am I totally wrong? I hate the phrase anyway and will stop at nothing to see it eradicated.

1 comment:

Lucy Tartan said...

I don't really care, but I think you're right. Mainly though I'm impressed beyond all reason with that Graham Harvey site. "next week: vacuuming and cleanliness, yeah! In the sidebar I thought it said Crouching, but it was actually Coaching. Judging from the photos Graham is quite a good croucher.