Friday, 30 January 2015

On Dating and Decoding.

I’m still intrigued by the dating ads in the local newspaper. I’ve read them all several times over because that’s what I do when something intrigues me, and because I needed to crack the standard abbreviations. I’ve never read dating ads before, and so I had to work them out from their context.

The first to fall was WLTM. Would like to meet. I wondered why they didn’t use ‘seeks,’ which is simpler and still only one word for cost efficiency.

Next to be decoded was GSOH. It was interesting that so many people described themselves as having a good sense of humour. How do they know, since only they can judge? A person might have a subtle sense of humour, a sophisticated sense of humour, a droll sense of humour, a coarse sense of humour, etc, etc. But who is qualified to define good? Maybe one day some academic will devise an HQ test: Humour Quotient. Or maybe they won’t.

For some reason, tlc and ltr were always printed in lower case. Why is that, I wonder. What distinguishes tender loving care and long term relationship (assuming I’m right) from Good Sense Of Humour? I suppose the latter is a personal quality, so what about Would Like To Meet?

The most difficult was N/S. This is the only one to be graced with an oblique stroke (or forward slash for the computer generation.) There was nothing glaringly obvious in the context to give it away, but I’m assuming it means No Strings. Why the slash? Why the upper case?

Enough said on the subject. So, which of the ads most intrigued me? This one:

S: Asian 20yr old female, very pretty, feminine with long hair, enjoys nights in or out, seeking mature white male 56plus for discreet fun.

That’s pretty odd, isn’t it? No codes, grammatically perfect (which most of them aren’t,) and more than a hint of some hidden agenda suggested by the age gap. Rest assured: curiosity didn’t get the better of me.

I think I can stop reading them now; the purpose is served. And the reason I never read them before is simple: I never understood how people could ‘seek love’ through a newspaper ad. I was always the eyes-across-a-crowded-room type. My problem was that I never liked crowded rooms.

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