January 13th, 2005

New Words

I love new words. New words mean new ideas. They mean you can talk sharply about something that was all fuzzy before.

I guess these words have been used by academics for a while now, but they're new to me.

So, I pull the chord, the curtain slides back, and here they are:



Mainly they're used as adjectives, but they can be nouns as well. The words homosociality and heterosociality also occur.

To be homosocial is to dig the company of your own sex. To be heterosocial is to dig the company of the opposite sex.

And to be autosocial is to wish that everybody else would go take a running jump.

Google "homosocial" and you'll find theses with titles like "Male Homosocial Desire in Thomas Hardy" and "Homosocial Intimacy in the Old West."

Homo and hetero sociality have nothing to do with sexual orientation. Many homosocials are heterosexual and many heterosocials homosexual. Sorry, it gets a bit tonguetwisty after a while.

And now I'm going to play with my new toys.

This is a homosocial society. It regards heterosociality as aberrant. I found that out when (aged 11) I chickened out of crossing over from the boys' side of the aisle to go sit with my girlfriends. I am profoundly heterosocial. The rituals of male homosociality- talking about cars, playing golf, drinking and messing about in packs- have always disgusted me.

Look ma; not only new words- I got a new identity as well!