Monday, June 21, 2010

What Happens in Vegas?

I was walking through the Encore hotel in Vegas this weekend when I heard a female voice say, “I’m a preschool teacher.” The word “teacher” caught my attention, and since I’m nosy, I looked up and saw a woman who, judging from the length of her skirt and the size of her shirt, must have borrowed her outfit from one of her students.

What happens in Vegas? I know it’s hot and I know it’s Sin City, but from the last time I was there a couple of years ago to now, the average skirt length has halved:

And the average neck line has doubled:

Apparently, many women believe that the way to stand out in Vegas is to expose their assets.

To make our writing stand out, we also want to expose our assets. One of the greatest assets we have when writing is words. We have so many wonderful words to choose from, yet sometimes we neglect to really show them off.

For example, I can write:

Most ladies in Vegas wear short skirts.

But, short doesn’t quite capture the severity of what I experienced.

I might opt for itty-bitty or minute, or if I want to give it a more negative connotation, I could use skimpy.

Here’s another example:

Many women in Vegas showed cleavage.

But, c'mon, I can do better than showed.

How about boasted, paraded, flaunted, celebrated? Or if I want to give it a more negative connotation, I could use advertised.

Speaking of advertising cleavage, one of the things that concerns me about this new Vegas dress code is its impact on the prostitutes’ business. From what I understand, prostitution is a viable career in Vegas, yet how are potential customers supposed to discern between the prostitutes and the tourists? Another problem is that when almost everyone is wearing “shockingly” sexy outfits the shock value disappears. When I first arrived, I couldn’t stop gawking, but by casino number three, I didn’t even look up unless there was nipple.

It’s the same with writing. We want to use great words, but we don’t want to look up every single word in the thesaurus just to make our writing fancy. If all of our words are fancy, the images we really want to draw attention to may lose their impact. Also, our writing may come off as pretentious and may even be confusing. For example, after a lecture on descriptive writing, one of my students wrote:

When I was a diminutive girl, my dad used to take me fishing.

I am pretty sure she meant:

When I was a little girl, my dad used to take me fishing.

She must have looked up little in the thesaurus, found diminutive, and thought it would be more descriptive. However, in this case, little- although it may not be as flashy- makes more sense.

And since I won a whopping $35 in roulette and am now addicted, it makes sense that I start planning for my next trip to Vegas. I wonder what I can wear to stand out in the sea of legs and cleavage. Maybe something like this:


j.m. neeb said...

The thing I like about this post (besides how well-catered the topic -- and pictures -- are for keeping a straight guy's attention...), is that some people just don't understand the value of "not always using large words."

Some people can pull off skimpy outfits (give me a plunging neckline and I look like Fabio*), but pretension doesn't look good on anyone!

* That's a good thing, right? Right? No? Huh.

The Invisible Seductress said...

I am saddened that I was not able to see the final picture. I must go pout until this is resolved.

Rick said...

What does it say about me (and Heidi's plastic surgery) that I immediately recognized Rose McGowan but not Ms. Montag?

Wendy Ramer said...

Re: that last picture...

Oh, no she didn't!

Diane J. said...

I came over from Beth's blog, "This Mommy's Life". I'm quite happy I did. I can learn a lot from your blog. I abuse commas. Well, there's a lot I do wrong, so take it easy when I post comments. If I give you too much of a headache, I'll send a case of Exedrin.