Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blonds, Blondes and Manuals

Catherine Deneuve

I've just snooped a piece of advice on how to stop a husband looking into his wife's mailbox – mark it 'Instruction Manuals'. Why, of course! It's beneath a man to check the manual.

And it's equally easy to attract a man's attention. Another writer in France suggested to her husband who had been trying in vain to get his boss's attention to an important proposal: put on the file a large label saying 'Blondes'. 

Don't we underestimate our women?

And while I was scribbling this I also discovered another difference between British and American – their attitude to blondes. Here is what Oxford English Dictionary says:

USAGE The spellings blonde and blond correspond to the feminine and masculine forms in French. Although the distinction is usually retained in Britain, American usage since the 1970s has generally preferred the gender-neutral blond. The adjective blonde may still refer to a woman’s (but not a man’s) hair color, though use of the noun risks offense (See that blonde over there?) the offense arises from the fact that the color of hair is not the person. The adjective applied to inanimate objects (wood, beer) is typically spelled blond.

Photo by Georges Biard

Thanks for advice, Kirsten Stroud and Nadya Pommier
This post also published on Tetradki blog