Weekend Edition (NPR), “Gay Marriage And The Evolving Language Of Love”

March 29, 2013

Interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition about difficulties in labeling straight and gay relationships. (Mar. 29, 2013)

But 30 years later, straight and gay people are still struggling with the same questions.

“Each of these terms has its own problems,” says Ben Zimmer, executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com. “For instance, ‘partner’ sounds very official or contractual. ‘Companion’ sounds unromantic or even euphemistic. ‘Lover’ might just be too explicit. ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ are inappropriate for a lot of people, unless they’re a teenager.”

When the love that dare not speak its name finally opens its mouth, people can get tripped up on the words.

(Show page, audio, transcript)

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