Saturday, October 15, 2016

Notes on Twee and Why It Should Be Deplored

Usually I'm pretty up-to-date about language, but I admit to being well behind the power curve when it comes to this latest one: twee.

It started with an article in New York Times, in which the writer discussed the outréness of the word 'fiancé,' asserting that it was "twee."  And I went, "what in the Hell is that?" After all, fiancé sounds a lot more genteel than "the guy I'm shacked up with" when talking to older generations.

Atlantic magazine provided me with a perspective, sort of. It declared twee to be excessively sweet, dainty, sentimental, even to the point of sickening the ironic sensibility.''

Twee’s core values include “a healthy suspicion of adulthood”; “a steadfast focus on our essential goodness”; “the cultivation of a passion project” (T-shirt company, organic food truck); and “the utter dispensing with of ‘cool’ as it’s conventionally known, often in favor of a kind of fetishization of the nerd, the geek, the dork, the virgin.”


I was astonished that the definer of "twee" complained about Zooey Deschanel as being unabashedly twee, like her character in The New Girl was a bad thing. And I must question, why is sweetness, daintyness, and sentimentality bad? When adults are messing up so readily, why not be suspicious of adulthood? What's wrong with passion projects? Why is 'cool' so enshrined? Isn't 'cool' for poseurs?

Nerds, dorks, and geeks might have come into their own. And some people have become reconstituted virgins. Or to borrow a post-Civil War expression, galvanized virgins!







10 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i remember first reading the word 'twee' somewhere in an article on-line. i had to look it up, too.

John Hill said...

It's new to me. I doubt it will find its way into my vocabulary but at least I'll know what it means when I encounter others that use it.

Mike said...

After you get to be older it becomes too much trouble to keep up with the latest jargon.

Bilbo said...

I'd not heard the word before, but I'm unlikely to use it in any case. Now, "galvanized virgins" ... that's a useful term!

Deena said...

It get the idea of 'twee,' but it does sound very judgemental. But there's a lot of that going on. Galvinized virgin describes some of my born-again friends.

Cloudia said...

Thanks for this dispatch from the [culture] front, pal!

allenwoodhaven said...

I'd heard the term in passing but had no idea what it meant. Thanks!

Gorilla Bananas said...

I remember that word! I tend to associate it with frills and bows. But I'm not convinced that girl is a virgin. Something in her eyes tell me she's known man.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I remember that word! I tend to associate it with frills and bows. But I'm not convinced that girl is a virgin. Something in her eyes tell me she's known man.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thanks for your thoughts, my friends!

Gorilla Bananas, so who's keeping score?