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Annoying Words in English: Soulmate

December 4, 2017

(image via wikimedia)

When it comes to annoying words in the English language, soulmate doesn’t get enough credit.  I’ve never seen it on any list of top ten annoying words.  Moist is supposedly the most annoying word.  Slacks is right up there.  My own least favorite word is share, but soulmate has always gotten on my nerves too.

It’s not a new term.  I remembering hearing it when I was a teen in the 1970s, and it made me cringe even then.  I don’t cringe easily.  I didn’t cringe during The Exorcist or the first Alien movie.  I was a little disturbed, but I didn’t cringe.

Soul mate, however, just got on my nerves.

First of all, the words soul and mate don’t go together.  Something about them together just doesn’t sound right.  Maybe it’s just me. The word soul goes together with trainCheck goes with mate.  But soulmate sounds like it’s trying too hard.

Even worse, soulmate sounds pretentious.  Couples who claim to be soulmates act like they’re superior to other couples.  Soulmates tend to be young couples in the early stages of their relationships and have no clue about what kind of hell is about to rain down upon them.  Any couple can be soulmates in the first six months of a relationship.  Try again after six years.  Maybe 20.

Maybe the term soulmate is annoying because soulmates can be annoying.  The average schmuck doesn’t like being around couples who are too into each other.  Soulmates can remind us of the problems we have within our own relationships.  Or remind us that we aren’t even in relationships and we really want to be in one.  Seeing the bliss that soulmates share just kind of pisses off the rest of us.

So screw you, soulmates.

It won’t last long anyway.

My wife and I aren’t soulmates.  We’re just married.  We had to work at it.  We had to fix some things and work on issues.  But we’ve been together over twenty years.  Both of us have made mistakes, but neither of us have made the kind of mistakes that spouses see as unforgiveable.  After all this time together, I think we might make it.  We’ll probably make it.

If I ever start a divorce blog, then you’ll know we didn’t make it.

My daughters claim that I’m triggered by the term soulmateAnnoyed is not the same thing as triggeredAnnoyed is a negative reaction at the sight/sound of something but moving on.  Writing a blog post is not triggered behavior (unless I use all-caps and exclamation points).  Triggered is shouting people down, trying to get people fired, putting hands over ears and shouting “Blah!  Blah!  Blah!” or curling up into the fetal position in a corner.

I’ve never told anybody to stop saying soulmate.  I’d never do that.  If somebody followed me around saying “Soulmate.  Soulmate.  Soulmate.  Soulmate.  Soulmate.  Soulmate,” I might have to do something about it.  But otherwise, I’m okay.

I promise, I’m not triggered by the term soulmate.  And if I were, I’d just rant to my wife about it.  She can always calm me down about these things.

*****

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From → Pop culture

8 Comments
  1. I enjoyed reading this! Way too funny! I have never given much thought about the word “soulmates”. And Yes, I agree with you on couples that act like soul mates! Bleh Bleh! But what do we know! Haha!

  2. This is grea!. Soulmate doesn’t bother me, but neither does moist or slacks. The only phrase that can really get my blood boiling is the band name REO Speedwagon. It just makes me want to tense up in a fit of rage and barf. Like you, I’m triggered every I hear this name on the radio, and of course I have to let everyone around me know how awful that name is.

    • Ha ha! The name REO Speedwagon never bothered me, but I thought all their songs sounded the same, and whenever I mentioned that, my friends would tell me to shut up.

  3. “Soulmates” may be a loremaster’s attempt to translate German _Seelenverwandte_, which is a very old word dating back to Goethe’s age. The inspiration was in fact Plato’s “Symposion”.

    • German? Not that I put much thought into it, but I would have guessed French (not for any good reason, though).

      • It seems in fact that Goethe has invented the word, and from there it was adopted into English:

        “wenn sie diese ihre wunderlichen wesen verwandt nennen, so kommen sie mir nicht sowohl als blutsverwandte, vielmehr als geistes- und seelenverwandte vor.”
        (If they call these wondrous creatures their mates, I deem they aren’t so much bloodmates as they are mind- and soulmates.)

  4. Moist + Slacks are definitely annoying Word but I LOVE the word soulmate. I believe in all forms of soulmates; platonic friends and even animals can be ones soulmate. Happy Holidays!

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