Engaging Language

Engaging Language

It’s time to be schooled.

Not schooled like those little boys and girls whose bounding steps on the way to school make their big-kid backpacks jump with every step. Those young ones are just beginning their scholastic careers and they know they’ve got a lot to learn.

Not schooled like those graduate students with their just-so outfits and charged career plans. Those adults know where they want to go, and have charted a plan to accomplish their dream.

No, it’s time to be schooled in the use of wedding-language. That does not mean a term like “accent color” or “bridal party” – both of which are amorphous and occasionally interchangeable. Further education is not needed for a word designed for brides, but in the plain English common to us all. The term is “engaged.”  Engagement, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is  something that engages; emotional involvement or commitment;  hostile encounter between military forces; etc. Now, those who plan to marry their significant other can be termed emotionally involved or committed; on this we can all agree. The qualms seem to begin when the term that describes that commitment is used for those who are engaged to be married.

As demonstrated, once a person is committed to marrying another, they are engaged to be married. Nowhere in this definition is there mention of a diamond ring, a party, or even a marriage proposal. According to experts of the English language, an engagement can take place with or without aerial photography or a classical music quartet. Actually, I think everyone can agree on that. Regardless, an engagement takes place once an agreement has been reached between interested parties, without any further accouterments. It may be a secret engagement, but once you’ve committed to marrying someone, you’re engaged to them.

If you have booked a wedding hall, you’re engaged. If you’re shopping for a wedding dress, you’re engaged. If you and another plan to marry, you’re engaged.  No need to tell friends the time and date you’ll be getting engaged so that they can plan a party. You’ve already gotten engaged.

Such lessons in the English language are engaging, but not nearly as much as those learned at school.

Best wishes to Ariella, Amira, and Gabriella on their first week of school


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