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Anal about 'anal'

15 replies

Threadworm · 23/03/2008 06:20

Am I the only one who gets annoyed with the use of this ugly word as a shorthand for any kind of hyper-organised behaviour?

It wasn't one of Freud's finest contributions, and most of his better stuff is payed much less lip service.

And in any case, doesn't it have a lot of baggage to do with sadism?

OP posts:
MmeCEggsandeateggs · 23/03/2008 07:09


Frankly, I get annoyed by anybody thinking I'm hyper-organised [it's not meant as a compliment]. I don't think I am at all. I'm just reasonably efficient at organising myself. (Note: not my house though!)

Life is simply simpler when you alphabetise your dried herbs and spices and keep a list of the entire contents of your freezer!

Paid btw but let you off considering the time of post

Threadworm · 23/03/2008 11:36

I'm guessing that the juxtaposition of 'anal' and 'lip service' in my OP is what's putting people off.

OP posts:
MmeCEggsandeateggs · 23/03/2008 11:37
NomDePlume · 23/03/2008 11:38

I'm more bothered by 'payed'(sic) than 'anal'

[pedantic ]

Threadworm · 23/03/2008 11:39

I know, I know. I did think about leaving the country after that one.

OP posts:
GentleOtter · 23/03/2008 11:46

ID does not have the same impact. It is neater than anus though.

WanderingTrollegg · 23/03/2008 11:47

Threadworm, I think people are thinking this thread is about bumsex & its associated lexicon, neither of which is very appetising imo.

IorekByrnison · 23/03/2008 11:49

Pedants' Corner is going to the dogs. I'm joining Fly Lady instead.

Threadworm · 23/03/2008 11:49

Oh dear. And it is actually quite an interesting piece of pedantry.

OP posts:
themoon66 · 23/03/2008 11:54

Flylady is full of anal types IorekByrnison

corblimeymadam · 23/03/2008 11:54

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

IorekByrnison · 23/03/2008 12:07

Oh I see - it's not really one of those "last night dh asked me to try something new but I said no it's a one way street AIBU" threads.

Yes Threadworm you are right of course. People should at least say "anally retentive" to avoid confusion. But I suppose "anal" has a double meaning of "like an anus" which is what people usually mean when the describe someone as such.

GentleOtter · 23/03/2008 13:09

I am going to be particularly pedantic about my comment being in the proper Freudian context- this has nothing to do with anal sex whatsoever.
if I commented on "Being id about, for example, my housework" then some people would wonder what the hell I was on about..or drop in to a coma with boredom and not be interested in the superego topics proffered temptingly.
Becoming 'anal' about a matter is, as we well know, a form of shorthand for 'anally retentive' as opposed to 'anally expulsive' which we will not go into today.
Some of us are capable of using the expression fully and in the correct context.

Threadworm · 23/03/2008 17:24

But my point is that 'anally retentive' is a pretty daft Freudian concept, which doesn't have much currency anymore and which people who use the term 'anal' to refer to 'over-organised' don't really have any knowledge of anyway, Plus, it is ugly.

OP posts:
GentleOtter · 23/03/2008 23:21

Particular would be a better choice IMO.
"I am particular about my ....fill in word of choice"
I agree that 'anal' is an ugly word in itself but jugular fills me with horrors too, as a word.
I think the overuse of 'anal' has slipped in to everyday speech like so many other words - no real thought goes into the origin of the actual word, in this instance Freud's concept but is used as a marginally shocking buzz word. Lazy speech.Text message speech.

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