No doubt this post's title will draw some strange traffic from the search engines, but I really do have something to say about underwear. (Oops. My mom just fainted.) Some British friends have mentioned (don't ask how we got on this subject) that they're always a little amazed when we Americans refer to ladies' and gentlemen's trousers as "pants." Pants, the Brits say, is short for underpants.
Listen, I love you dears across the pond, and I'm grateful that so many of you visit this blog, but I simply cannot bring myself to say "trousers" with a straight face. I'd just as soon call my umbrella a brolly. From time to time I've been known to use the word "slacks," but that seems a very old-fashioned word to me, so I'm left with no alternative; "pants" it is. But that's fine, because pants can be casual or dressy. Working men can wear suit pants to the office, scrub pants in surgery, painting pants at the construction site, and so on. They can yank on sweatpants to work out, and then they can shower and shave and slide into tuxedo pants for a night at the opera. Is this a great country, or what? Even our women wear pants.
I am in a position to know (although I cannot reveal where I obtained this information) that many young men, at least the ones who don't have ten inches' worth of boxer shorts showing above their low-slung jeans, are eshewing underwear these days. They call that "going commando." I don't know what made me think of that just now, but since some of you are already deeply shocked by this discussion of pants, I figured I might as well toss that in.
You know, up until this morning I would have sworn this was not one of those blogs that discusses underwear (or young men not wearing same). I'll go ahead and brace myself for your outraged comments, but before we get to those, let me tell you why I'm thinking about underwear at eight o'clock in the morning.
I've just been editing a scene in the romance novel I'm polishing, and when I came across a man wearing "black slacks" I didn't like the way that rhymed. It made a serious sentence look silly. So I changed it to "black pants." I toyed briefly with calling them "black dress pants," but the guy's already wearing a dress shirt, so that seemed a little too...uh, dressy. And people who insist pants are underwear will be plenty shocked already, without my refering to a man's dress pants and leading them to imagine silky undergarments with-- No, I won't go there. This really isn't that kind of blog.