I’ve come across a handy euphemism this week. What used to be referred to as making a pass at someone, coming on to, hitting on, etc is now apparently known as being ‘informal’.
I haven’t yet ascertained quite where the boundaries of informality lie. Evidently the ‘my wife doesn’t understand me and when do you get off work’ chat does count as informality. As does, when tea and chat are clearly over, hovering on a person’s doorstep looking ever hopeful, rather than simply leaving. Informality can also include hovering on the doorstep for so long that one is eventually nudged off it on the end of a polite finger and with the gentle repetition of the word ‘bye’. In some cases informality can include gazing into someone’s eyes, telling them how lovely they are, resting a weary head on their shoulder and enquiring as to their current romantic status and what sort of things they cook for supper. Oh yes girls, it’s the twenty-first century alright.
Whether the term informality expands so far as to include the antics of Boris Becker and the broom cupboard is anyone’s guess.