Sunday, December 02, 2007

A style guide

This past week, in anticipation of writing a software guide for a new client, I brought home their style guide to peruse at my leisure. A style guide outlines a particular organization's standards for design and writing, from typography and white space to prose style and handling of grammar, punctuation and spelling. A style guide deems what is acceptable in a given publication; in my case, a user guide for a software application. An example of a popular style guide is The Chicago Manual of Style.

For example, I encountered things like this:
  • From a main menu, users select an option, rather than choose one.
  • When using the mouse to select an option, users click, rather than press.
While I was reading this weighty tome, my husband turned to me and invited me upstairs. It wasn't yet bedtime, so you can guess what he had in mind. However, he used words guaranteed to shock and dismay. After nearly fifteen years of marriage, and some years together before tying the knot, he knows me well enough to anticipate my response. Not given to dissembling, I responded with my usual scornful expression: curled lip and wrinkled brow. He, of course, thought it great fun.

Which got me to thinking...why, oh why, can we not provide sex style guides to our husbands and lovers. A primer that tells them precisely what to say when hoping to invite us upstairs in a suitable frame of mind; adverbs to use in the bedroom (gently, softly, and slowly spring to mind); and standardized words for various parts of the anatomy — particularly useful for those of us who are of a romantic bent and appreciate euphemisms in the bedroom.

I figure such a book would be an invaluable aid to the romance writer as well. None of us wants the cold hard facts. But neither do we appreciate words or phrases such as "shaft" or "love tool", not to mention equestrian, chivalric or oceanic metaphors.

I for one think a sex style guide just the thing!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just about died laughing! Maybe we should start small with our men. Rather than a weighty book of "What To Say" perhaps we should opt for the "Things NOT to Say:"

-C'mon, I have 10 minutes during half-time.

-Are you achin' for some bacon'?

-How about some tube steak?

-Feel like a little diggy-diggy, push-push?

-Hop on for a ride on the llloooovvvveeee machine.

I'm at a loss for other witticisms. I'm afraid I can only channel the red-blooded man for so long b/f the estrogen levels reassert themselves.

3:04 am  
Blogger Eva said...

That's precisely the kind of talk I can't abide. Shudder!!

1:03 pm  
Blogger Barrie said...

I think such a manual would make a great Christmas gift for some husbands (and wives)! :) thanks for the giggle!

11:13 pm  

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