By J. M. Samuelson
Publishers today are churning out self-help literature at ever-increasing rates. Many of these tomes aim at helping selves better enjoy or endure singleness.
Based on my acquaintance with this literature I can say that few areas of descriptive English fail so utterly to satisfy as the nomenclature of singleness. Virtually every term of choice sells somebody short, whether single persons themselves or the “attached” persons from whom these terms are supposed to offer useful distinction.
Singleness implies a state of doubleness in others, thus implying that the single person lacks some essential element. With this particular family of words, classification bleeds into character indictment. “Singleness” says too little and too much. [Read more...]