Satiric radio commentary for the 90s from the man who drained Lake Michigan and filled it with hot chocolate!!!

"Spouse" - It Even Sounds Stupid!

Stan Freberg here. There's a certain word in the English language that always rankles me. Just hits me the wrong way. There must be some word we can use besides "spouse." It even sounds stupid! More after this. [:60 SPOT BREAK]

Freberg here. For years, my teeth are set on edge every time somebody says, "Will your spouse be attending?" My spouse? You mean my wife? Or say a wife is asked, "Is your spouse going to be with you?" Why not just say, "Is your husband also coming?"

I remember I once spoke to a dinner of IBM executives. Before my appearance, the man in charge said to me, "It's a 'spouse event,' you know." It was at that point I decided I'd been "spoused" enough. "You mean someone can bring their wife or husband, as the case may be?" I said. "Yes," he answered. Then he pointed out the small engraved line on the dinner invitation: "A spouse event," it read. "See here?" "Yes," I said, "but why doesn't it just say, 'Wives and husbands may also attend'?" "It does say that," he told me. "See? 'A spouse event'." He didn't get it.

The word "spouse" is a cumbersome, ugly word. A clunker of a word that thuds off the tongue without the slightest romantic overtone. "Spouse"--a legal document word that must have been written by a lawyer: "In the event that spouse, uh..." etc.

Today is Valentine's Day. I'll be giving a nice card and flowers to my wife. I certainly won't be giving anything to my spouse.

Stan Freberg here.

Copyright ©1997, Stan Freberg/Freberg, Ltd. (but not very) Distributed by Dick Brescia Associates and Radio Spirits, Inc.