I've been watching a TV series advertised as a "real TV" show with supposedly unscripted dialogue ("made in Chelsea"). Of course, after a while one begins to realize how much it all is preset and even awkwardly unrealistic (e.g. when someone asks 4 other people to leave, with which they comply, just to continue talking with one remaining person - because the camera was set for that spot and the real-life scenario when you pull someone aside to talk to was not practical for the purposes of the shoot)
But the conversation was - supposedly - free and "real", as it really is among well-to-do twenty-somethings in the first decade of the 2000s in UK:
- 1. Are you guys friends? - yeah, I took her out a couple of times but we are just good friends - well yeah, but are you kissing?
2. (Girl) Hi, it's been quite a while. So how have you been? Seen anyone? - (Boy) well, kissed a couple of girls
3. (in a restaurant) Is it a date? - no, it's not a date, it's a meeting - like a date meeting? (laughs)
4. He and (Ann) are friends with benefits. They are still playing that friends with benefits (thing).
5. Do you have feelings for her?
6. Do you fancy her?
7. Hey, buddy! - (turns, explains) we've known each other since 14, so it goes way back when we went to school together (to the first guy) Your girlfriend was a friend of my girlfriend, and I used to fancy her
8. I don't feel we are in a relationship any longer. If you do not look after someone properly long enough, they will run away.
9. What the [beep] do you think you are doing, going on dates with my girlfriend?
Listen, you are being a complete dick, he's in a relationship, it's his girlfriend, and you are taking her out, going on dates with her.
Examples were dumped from my memory rather than transcribed from the show, so correct me if any of those do not sound authentic to you.
Here's where I come a bit baffled by this all
- (1,2) This constant "kissing" thing. Does it mean the (man or woman) simply went out with their partner, "dated" in one of the senses, actually physically kissed (no, the usage implies it's not literal, but), had sex - or does the speaker want to be intentionally vague as to what has taken place?
(3) In what to me seems a rather odd way, they are always trying to kind of bring up the question of whether their meeting and a bit of chat is 'a date' or is it 'not a date'. It looks totally unrealistic to me - why the heck should you try to agree on that explicitly (which feels rather awkward) rather than proceed with your chat and whatever else you are doing in a natural way? Why the fuss?
Is it a British thing, international thing, or is it a stupid gimmick brought in by the show directors?
Are you guys really so stubbornly insistent on labelling the whole thing and feel totally paralyzed until and unless that decision has been reached?
(4) This one seems universal and used on both sides of the Atlantic. "Friends with benefits". Is it a new term or old?
(5,6,7) They always seem to be using "feelings" in that generic sense - would it be just a less awkward way of speaking about sort of "love" (which would be terribly "uncool"), or is it just the same in a lesser degree? What's the modern usage among the younger generation in UK (middle-class, university educated)?
Does "fancy" stand for the same in even lesser degree?
Do I understand it correctly that "fancy" is not a very popular word outside UK?
(8,9) Relationship, the horror word; when used by a female, the word has potential to scare the other side witless.
What is a "relationship"? When does it start and end? Who decides and decrees? What would be the formal qualifiers to redefine "the thing" (or a "fling") as a "relationship"? To me it sounds a bit affected (??) and definitely overused, and as a concept quite hazy. But in that reality TV show in their supposedly unprepared, unscripted speech they used up half the screen time talking about "relationships".
Although I might consede it's a bit like "otnosh'eniya", easily one of the scariest words in a Russian female's sex-related vocabulary ;))
[ NOTE: I am not aiming here at a discussion of sociology of the whole thing, rather I am interested in the language, the current usage. Which terms are used, are "cool" to use, and their meaning. (This all may well be beyond the scope of regular dictionaries.)
Nor I am discussing here Hollywood-style make-believe sitcom type of speech, where scripted lines are artificial and often quite crude, with every attempt made to turn each line into a gag.
Nor am I interested in the lingo of non-heterosexual relations.]
P.S. What other dating-related phrases would be in current use and popular in addition to those illustrated in my examples from the show?