Tuesday, April 17, 2007

modifiers, adjectives and descriptions, oh my!

I have had this discussion over and over and over again.

and I had it again yesterday.

(admittedly, once in my head and then once on the phone with my friend susan, but whatev.)

so, guys give girls compliments, right? (and hopefully the other way around, but that's not the point of this blog today) anyho, those compliments? we eat 'em up. as a friend of mine would say, "flattery will get you everywhere." and he's right.

so, the easiest compliment to give is one about our appearance. y'know, the you-look-nice-s, the you-have-pretty-eyes, the that-dress-is-sexy-s, the you-have-a-great-laughs, the your-ass-looks-great-in-those-jeans. but those are easy to understand. they are either kinda perfunctory OR they're very obvious and direct.

what is not, though, is the very simple ones. the simple sentences.

you are pretty.
you are cute.
you are beautiful.

I tried to put them in the order of preference to girls. Or, rather, to this girl. And yes, I really would rather be cute than pretty.. and I left out "you are hot" because I think that's in a completely different vein. There are many other good words to use, too--lovely, sexy, gorgeous, stunning, etc., but for the point of a discussion I once had, I'm excluding them too.

once, a guy explained to me that girls who are "cute" are very girl-next-door-y, that they're the type of girl you'd want to see in jeans and a ponytail, but that they usually don't pull off getting all gussied up very well, or at least not spectacularly.

and then he said there were the pretty girls. they look GREAT when they're all done up and put together, but only so-so when they're not bedecked in makeup and hairspray and matching duds. you might hit on 'em at a wedding, but on a "casual" day they're no so breathtaking after all.

next he clarified that the best girls of all were the ones who are beautiful. because the beautiful ones are the ones who look good in sweatshirts and headbands, in jeans and flip flops AND in cocktail dresses with heels. and most importantly, the kind of girl who you call beautiful isn't just called this because of her appearance--because so much of what makes her beautiful is what's inside.

and this guy, he told me I was beautiful. which of course, totally made my week. :)

I'm not seeing him anymore, 'cause he turned out to be a bit of a tool, but as I go on about my business I keep wondering if guys in general have a hierarchy of compliments. Oh, I know it's not some written standard, but is

attractive<cute <pretty < fetching <lovely < sexy <gorgeous <beautiful <foxy? :)

so cats and kittens, guys and dolls what one is the best and what word would you most prefer to be called?



Kate said...

great topic! i'm better able to take the you're cute, you have a great personality, you're pretty compliments. when i get the you're hot, you're sexy, i start laughing. it's my own insecurities, but i don't believe them. i'd much rather get a you look really good.

Carrie M said...

beautiful is my favorite of all of them. Sexy is good too. Lovely...I love that word, and would love to be described as such, but I think only British men could get away with it.