Something happens," sang Tears for Fears, "and I'm head over heels." A purely literal thinker would not even recognize this as an idiom:

Twilight looked at me sideways again. "Aren't you always head over heels? Unless you're standing on your head, I suppose."

I nodded. "It's a silly figure of speech. Like putting your best hoof forward. Which one's supposed to be the best?"

"I never thought of that," she said. "I guess it would have to be a front hoof, though, or you'd fall down."

Let us now hoof it over to Merriam-Webster:

The fact that wisdom and knowledge can themselves be attractive qualities for a romantic partner is expressed in the use of sapiosexual, a word that means "sexually attracted to highly intelligent people." This term is showing up with increasing frequency in personal ads, advice columns, and even on t-shirts used by those who choose to describe themselves and their romantic interests in a way that contrasts sharply with the often superficial, looks-oriented criteria traditionally associated with the beginnings of romance.

You might think that were there actually anything to this, there would be babes several rows deep on Ken Jennings' porch. But the 74-time Jeopardy! champion, by all accounts, has had a fairly quiet, downright normal domestic life, with a wife, two children, and very little drama, sort of a ginger Barack Obama, minus the Secret Service. Politicians may be drawn to such, but not for any reason involving affection.

I tend to be suspicious of the term, and of anyone wishing to self-affix it, for reasons having to do with this little tune from the past:

Five will get you ten "Weird Al" Yankovic saw this 1960s Scopitone feature before he cut "White and Nerdy."

Not that I'm in any condition to roll with the gangstas or anything like that. I have long been viewed as being sort of bright, a phenomenon that actually makes me feel like I'm dumb. I admit that I've been drawn to a few PhDs in my day, but in no case was their presumed brilliance the major draw, especially when you compare it to my utter lack thereof.

This is not to say, of course, that I'd be more comfortable with someone who is to me what I am to the likes of Ken Jennings, mainly because there are few things in life I dislike more intensely than having to explain myself. I think at odd angles sometimes, but that doesn't make me brilliant; at best, it makes me marginally more interesting than I'd otherwise be perceived to be.

Then there's that word "sapiosexual" itself, which apparently was coined by someone working at the online-dating site OkCupid. [Disclosure: I had an account there for several years, but dropped it.] As it happens, if you search for "sapiosexual" on Wikipedia, you will be redirected to the OkCupid entry, which may be one reason why Merriam-Webster hasn't fully embraced the term just yet.

Wait, what?

Oh. Yeah, I suppose I do have one thing in common with Ken Jennings: the tendency to run off at the mouth. For instance:

Twenty-six years before, while doing time in the funny farm, I noticed exactly that. Probably why she's one of the few inmates I remember from back then.

The Vent

  1 February 2018

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