Characteristics of Cultural Idioms –Metaphorica saying, phrase, jargon –Sometimes used for taboo/ unpleasant/embarrassing concepts Inherent indirectness helps protect face –Often originate in cultural events, rituals, practices, or history –Difficult for non-members of a culture or co-culture to understand –Processed in both the left and right hemisphere
Cultures recognize relationships linguistically and symbolically
BUT--a close relationship is a culture within a culture To distinguish themselves, to create a unique relational culture (identity), to affirm closeness, partners create personal idioms. Used in many types of relationships – Friends, family, coworkers, dating, married Key difference between personal idioms and cultural idioms? They are unique & emergent Are these personal idioms? –Honey, sweetheart, babe, sis, bro
4 Categories of Personal Idioms (based on 545 examples from romantic couples) 1.Relational Intimacy –Expressions of Affection show love, caring, and appreciation –Partner Nicknames are terms of address for a close other 2.Shared knowledge and privacy –Names for Others are labels for people outside of the relationship –Requests and Routines are ways to communicate something in the presence of others without their knowledge
Categories of Personal Idioms, cont. 3.Internal dynamics/control –Teasing Insults are humorous ways to tell someone that certain behaviors are bothersome without being directly critical –Confrontations are also focused on bothersome behaviors, but without the element of teasing –THIN LINE BETWEEN THESE TWO TYPES OF IDIOMS –Examples from your own life where they crossed?
Categories of Personal Idioms, cont. 4. Reducing embarrassment & establishing specialness –Sexual Invitations are ways of indirectly initiating sexual interactions –Sexual References and Euphemisms are terms for sexual intercourse; womans menstrual cycle
Summary: Functions To create a culture of shared meaning which sets relationship apart from the larger culture. –Constitute part of the relational identity. To avoid conflict over small problems (teasing insults) and reaffirm the relationship following conflict. –Nicknames and Terms of Affection remind partners that they value each other and share something special. To help negotiate potentially awkward situations save face. –Requests and Routines enable relationship members to signal needs and desires within larger groups without offending others –Sexual References and Euphemisms allow romantic partners to negotiate the sometimes embarrassing circumstances of sexual activity.
Language Just for Fun 1. THINGY (thing-ee) n. Female..... Any part under a car's hood. Male..... The strap fastener on a woman's bra. 2. VULNERABLE (vul-ne-ra-bel) adj. Female... Fully opening up one's self emotionally to another. Male.... Playing football without a cup. 3. COMMUNICATION (ko-myoo-ni-kay-shon) n. Female.. The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one's partner. Male... Leaving a note before taking off on a fishing trip with the boys. 4. COMMITMENT (ko- mit-ment) n. Female.... A desire to get married and raise a family.! Male..... Trying not to hit on other women while out with this one.
5. ENTERTAINMENT (en-ter-tayn-ment) n. Female... A good movie, concert, play or book. Male...... Anything that can be done while drinking beer. 6. FLATULENCE (flach-u-lens) n. Female... An embarrassing byproduct of indigestion. Male..... A source of entertainment, self-expression, male bonding. 7 MAKING LOVE (may-king luv) n. Female..... The greatest _expression of intimacy a couple can achieve. Male.. Call it whatever you want, just as long as we do it. 8. REMOTE CONTROL (ri-moht kon-trohl) n. Female... A device for changing from one TV channel to another. Male... A device for scanning through all 375 channels every 5 minutes.