in Satire

Words I Don’t Like


Why do some people refer to older women as “cute”? Why not Attractive, handsome, stylish, lighthearted or comical? On the other hand, sometimes difficult, ditzy, witchy and cranky are appropriate. When someone describes an older woman as “cute”, I don’t like it. The word has a tendency to diminish the capabilities and accomplishments of an older woman. It infers you are no longer in the game. How many intelligent women are referred to as “cute”? Kittens are cute; puppies are cute; babies are “cute”. Cartoonish little old ladies depictions are not “cute”. I’d rather be described as “difficult” than “cute”. At the very least, if you are difficult, you are still out there.


I get anxious when I hear “should”. I just know I am going to hear about one of my shortcomings. The word implies action is required to correct a major failing. Other times it is given as a warning to prevent a horrible blooper. It is often used in the Doctor’s office as an admonishment to adopt a healthier life style. Why can’t he simply tell me to exercise, go on a diet and omit the “should”? Who gets to decide “shoulds”? Are there special qualifications for “should issuers”? Is there some sort of certification they are required to have prior to issuing “shoulds”? It seems to me that more often than not these self appointed gurus might consider addressing their own issues prior to telling the rest of us what we “should” do.


A friend told me my use of the word “need” really irks her. She feels it falls in the same category as “should”. After careful consideration, I decided she is correct. “Need” is “should” kicked up a notch and vastly more offensive. It implies more urgent action is required immediately. I am relieved she pointed this out to me. It is a failing I “need” to correct. Perhaps I “should” be relieved if she chooses to describe me as “cute” as opposed to curmudgeon.