Did you ever consider the word “That” to be romantic? I discovered so just this past week. Or so I thought.
My wife serves as editor for my musings on TheBuddyBlog.com. Without her, I would dangle far too many participles, misplace a truckload of commas, and overuse passive verbs. This time, her editing prompted a discussion/debate on the use of the word “that.”
I explained how I had been taught to avoid overusing the word “that.” And whenever I edited a composition, I should first remove every “that” and then re-read the sentences. If it makes sense without them, exclude them.
She smiled and commented that such distaste for “that” is a Southern thing. She went on to note that there is not a specific word for “that” in the Romance Languages. I couldn’t bring myself to admit my ignorance when it came to knowing what she meant by Romance Languages. Could they have something to do with the Five Love Languages? Seeing my quizzical expression, she explained it referred to French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. English, she noted, wasn’t considered a Romance Language.
I quickly pounced. My logical, analytical brain promptly connected the dots. As I raised my eyebrows in a suave and self-congratulatory manner, I pointed out, “Oh, I guess THAT means Southerners are romantic.”
“No, No, NO,” she smirked. “Not necessarily so.”
I clarified my conclusion.
“You just said not using the “that” word was primarily a Southern thing. Then you said the Romance Languages do not have a word for “that.” Therefore if A=C and B=C, then A=B, Southerners must be romantic.”
My smile displayed a rather satisfied look at my deductive reasoning skills, thinking all the while, I am a Southerner, ergo, I must be a romantic.
“There you go using math again.” She actually loves it when I go mathematical on her, especially when grocery shopping, but rarely so in personal conversations.
She smirked once more, lowered her still-shaking head, and returned in earnest to the editing of my next post.
I suspect she will be saying “Good Night” in English tonight.