April 9, 2007 at 8:10 am
I recently proposed that we needed to come up with a word to describe someone who wasn’t fat, but wasn’t really thin either. While we’re revising the lexicon, I think we need to decide what the word “diet” is supposed to mean. Maybe we should just throw the word out completely and recycle the letters for use in other words. The word “diet” has so many connotations that using the word is like wielding a blunt object. It’s imprecise. It causes a lot of confusion. It makes me sound like I’m subsisting solely on tofu and rice cakes.
“Dieting” has a lot of negative baggage. If you’re on a diet it’s implied that someday you will go off a diet. It’s a temporary state of existence, like a month-to-month lease. Dieting implies another “d” word – deprivation. Dieters are accused of starving themselves and going hungry. It’s implied that if you break any of your diet’s multiple rules you are a very bad person indeed. Violators will have their knuckles rapped with their diet books and [...]