A friend of mine sent an accommodation ad to everyone at IMB using the "Informal Announcements" mailing list.

Hi, I’m a 25 yo easy-going female working fulltime at CSIRO looking for two easy-going females ...

She's used "easy-going" twice in the first sentence! I've asked her a few times what that was supposed to mean. She said it means she is looking for someone who is "not uptight" and "not a neat freak". And the idea of emphasising this was so that if they turn out to be "uptight" or a "neat freak" then she can say "look, the ad said we were looking for someone easy-going, and you are not easy-going".

Ummmmm. I think the word is so wishy-washy that it should be left out. After all does anybody really consider themselves not easy-going? A contributor at urbandictionary.com agrees with me - check out their definition of the word. (Also see "neat freak" there.)

It's much like using the word "down-to-earth" in personal ads. It defies definition.

I did suggest that it might be an a kind of "code word" to hint at something which can't be said explicitly, for example some women's tendency to write in personal ads that they are looking for someone "educated" and "ambitious" when they really mean "rich". But I have backed away from this theory.


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