Saturday, 24 October 2009

Significant others, definite articles

Tonight, I'm guest blogging for the Telf, as he's otherwise engaged.

I want to weigh in on the debate that's been taking place here over 'the' versus 'a', in particular when referring to the/a person you love. The story so far places Bambi on the more romantic, sympathetic and, some would say, pragmatic side of the debate facing off the Telf on the more logical, analytical and, perhaps, clinical side. My feelings (as usual, for a fence-sitting, wooly liberal) fall somewhere between the two.

I would have no qualms, were I in a relationship, with referring to my boyfriend as 'the man i love'. This seems only right and fair, assuming monogamy. To refer to this person as one of a collection belittles the commitment and love between us. However, as a jaded single, I would not be caught saying 'when I meet the man I love', despite my occasional hopeless romantic episodes. Somehow, that seems too certain, too Ally Macbeal. It also seems to presuppose some ideal - 'the one' - which seems absurd. So far, each new partner has taught me a few new traits and personality aspects I find attractive and shown me one or too off-putting ones as well. If there is an ideal for me, I certainly don't know what it is.

Essentially, I doubt I will only ever fall in love once, ever again, so it seems at the very least inaccurate. Also, at least currently, I have no partner to offend or undermine with such a statement.

So, as midnight approaches, and the Telf's blogathon score hangs in the balance, I leave you with two things. The assertion that either article is acceptable, everything depending on context and that the whole thing would irrelevant if English weren't so bloody picky anyway.

Blogathon score: vicarious.

No comments: