Flirting news in the form of flirting
.... I Enjoy Being a Girl,” along with girly -- in its sense of “coquettish; playing at making love without serious intent,” was, in the form of flirting ....
in the form of flirting
Bling-bling is dead because the trend it described --
ostentation -- is out of vogue. The key words include such treacly expressions
as flirty, girly, fresh, sweet, even pretty.
Bling-bling originally meant “expensive jewelry,” apparently coined in the late '90s by another rap artist, BG, a member of the group Cash Money Millionaires. “I'm so surprised that the word has spread like it has,” BG told MTV News last month. “But I knew it was serious when I saw that the NBA championship ring for the Los Angeles Lakers had the word ‘bling-bling' written in diamonds on it.”
The reduplication has long since migrated from the rap world into the fashion business; there, it described not just expensive accessories but a glitzy (from the German glitzen, “to glitter”) look in clothing. I recount its history here because bling-bling -- and its cousin, “ghetto fabulous” -- is gone-gone. (“History,” a scornful dismissal of the out-of-date, as in “he's history,” denoted what was once called passe, a term now so outmoded as to be antediluvian, a word washed ashore after Noah's flood. The language of fashion cries out for an up-to-date word for “out-of-date.”)
Bling-bling is dead because, my fashion informants say, the trend it described -- ostentation -- is out of vogue. So is its counterfashion: black. “The new black,” says Edward Nardoza, editor of Women's Wear Daily, “could be pink, blue or virtually any other ubiquitous color.”
“The key words,” observes Ruth LaFerla, a frequent contributor to The New York Times' fashion pages, “include such treacly expressions as flirty, girly, fresh, sweet, even pretty. Patrick Robinson, the new designer at Perry Ellis, told me that charming is the new sexy. I used candied myself yesterday. All these choices are meant to counteract the toughness and vulgarity of seasons past.”Pretty? “That's the new buzz word,” says James LaForce, spokesman for Elle magazine. “Everything for spring is pretty and feminine. And all of a sudden, it's OK to say something is cute.” (That adjective used to be considered a terrible put-down. I recall, at the 1976 Democratic convention, a dirty-tricks GOP operative handed out buttons that read “Cuties for Carter,” which was intended to infuriate feminists.) “And then there is the objectifying of a thing by making it singular. ‘I love the shoe.' Or ‘a very important pant this season.' It's a cross between stylist talk and garmento.”
What's garmento? “That's very Seventh Avenue, for the lingo of somebody who has worked in the industry for a long time,” LaForce said. “Not a new word, and sometimes taken as derogatory. A new word is flirty.”
Sure enough, there it is in Women's Wear Daily, clothing modeled by a woman identified as “Tom Cruise's first ex-wife”: “Sweetly chic numbers included flirty dresses, sailor-collared tops and flippy skirts, some in candy colors.” Flippy is of recent vintage, apparently from a skirt that flips up provocatively. But flirty -- celebrated in Oscar Hammerstein II's lyric “I Enjoy Being a Girl,” along with girly -- in its sense of “coquettish; playing at making love without serious intent,” was, in the form of flirting, used by the actor David Garrick in his prologue to Richard Sheridan's 1777 School for Scandal.
Flirty is sufficiently ensconced in the fashion lingo to rate wordplay: The Los Angeles designer Nancy Yoo has a line she calls Fleur-T.
* * *
Deceptionese. “Selectively releasing this one statistic has a three-card monte feel,” frowned a New York Times editorial. “If the number grows, it is unlikely that the Justice Department will be so forthcoming.”
A few weeks later, Bob Herbert, one of my colleagues in columny at The Times, popped Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to ban party primary elections in New York City: “This whole effort by the mayor has had the integrity and the dignity of a three-card monte game.”
What is this game that is so popular with my fellow opinionmongers, and why am I not dealt in?
Monte is Spanish for “mountain,” and a Mexican card game referred to the monte as a stack of playing cards left after the players had drawn their share. But three-card monte is not a game; it is a swindle. The operator shows a card, usually a queen or an ace, to the sucker; he then palms the card as he shuffles and places three other cards down, betting his victim he cannot pick the card that was shown. It's a fraud, of course; the card originally shown is not on the table.
Another method of cheating at cards that has become a favourite American metaphor for deception in any field is the fast shuffle. “These are real giveaways,” wrote Forbes magazine of rebates being offered by auto manufacturers engaged in a price war, “not a fast shuffle with list prices.”
In this snare, the operator pulls half of the pack of cards through the other half, giving the appearance of rearranging the deck randomly, but then speedily replaces the pulled-out half of the pack cards to its original position. The deck seems shuffled but is not.
“The thimblerigs in the Senate,” editorialized The South Bend Tribune, “want to reform 401(k) rules in the wake of the Enron boondoggle.”
Far from Indiana, in Moscow's Novyye Izvestia, the columnist Vyacheslav Shirayev blasted UKraine for delaying payment of its debt to Russia for natural gas: “In fact, Kiev has resorted to a kind of thimblerig in an effort to hoodwink Moscow.”A pea or pebble is placed under one of three thimbles. The operator, by sleight (deftness) of hand, or legerdemain (French for “lightness of hand”) moves the three around at first slowly, then faster until the victim is misled into guessing the pea is under the wrong thimble. This is less deceptive than three-card monte because the sucker has one chance in three of guessing the right thimble.
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