What is in a word? — 8 Comments

  1. stereotypes such as these always exist. the few of us who think out of the box need to grit our teeth and bear with it. we have a loooooooooooooooong way to go before the world stopped associating alone with lonely


  2. Great idea, April! I filed a “incorrect information” message with the following:

    In your entries for synonyms for “unmarried” (, you are including words with both negative and positive connotation. Putting words like “lonely” and “alone” in the same category perpetuates the stereotypes that we singles face on a daily basis. Being alone does not mean being lonely. Being single does not mean being unattached. I am very attached to my son and my friends, for example. Please help us fight these outmoded stereotypes by removing the negative associations from your list of synonyms, just like the synonyms for married are positive, not something like “caged,” or “unfree.”

    Thank you!


    P.S.: I wrote more about these entries at

  3. Your point that ALONE DOES NOT EQUAL loneliness is what we need to highlight here. Our culture equates the two…but the fact remains, that loneliness is a spiritual reality. We are driven to fall in love in hopes that this loneliness will dissapate, but it doesn’t…in marriage, in friendship, in productive and meaningful work, we still will feel lonely. Instead of trying to “fix” it…I think we need to embrace it!

  4. Oh, that’s a good take on “me and my shadow”!

    “…a single man desperate to find a woman and settle down just because that is what life is supposed to be like.” This is one of the things that makes me so angry! How many people end up in unhappy conjugal relationships/marriage just because we’re supposed to couple up! I know I have been there!

    Maybe it is time to create a new word to get away from all that baggage! Onely is certainly a good option. The disadvantage of using a new word is that you have to explain yourself. Although maybe that’s the advantage – if I use a word like “spinster” people might just assume that they know what I am talking about…

  5. Ahhhhh. I kinda like “me and my shadow” because in solitude I can really hear my own voice and enjoy my own company.

    I think it would be nice to come up with a word for positive single living which isn’t gender specific. Because, while I do notice that most of us happily single bloggers are female, I think that we have a lot in common with our male counterparts . . . more than we might think. Single men are stereotyped as being shallow or just wanting to get laid or not being grown up and I’ve met plenty a single man desperate to find a woman and settle down just because that is what life is supposed to be like.

    Hmmmmm. I guess I would just go with Lisa and Cristina’s “Onely” ( which could be used as an adjective or a noun.

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