Thursday, September 09, 2004

Freeze! BPC!

Taking advantage of the Labor Day sales, I bought some new underwear over the weekend. At the checkout, I was automatically enrolled in my local department store's "Bra and Panty Club." Yep. And I have a membership card to prove it.

So now I'm wondering, first, shall I record this "BPC" membership on my professional CV? Next, will the DMV accept the membership card as a form of i.d.? And, finally, is it possible that the benevolent order of the BPC is, in fact, misnamed? After all, one can easily purchase a bra. But, as far as I've seen, one could never, ever purchase a single "panty." (That would be akin to shopping for paste and scissor, right?)

Maybe I'll establish a breakaway organization that shuns the unfortunate "panty/panties" terminology altogether. I'll call us the Guild of Dainties, the Union of Unmentionables, or the Society of Underpants. Or, more inclusively, the Cooperative of Undergarments. We'll open our meetings with clasped hands and the proud singing of our anthem, "I see London, I see France..."

12 Comments:

At 1:03 PM, Blogger ~profgrrrrl~ said...

Congratulations! And definitely list it under your memberships on your CV.

Re: panty/panties, I'm no language expert, but I think it works to refer to them as a panty if pointing at them objectively in the store, but once you own and wear them they're panties. (There is no logic behind that, by the way. I'm just having fun theorizing while I wait for my lunch to finish cooking)

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Your theory makes sense to me. But then, what are we to make of the use of the singular panty in the old-fashioned "panty raid"?

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger ~profgrrrrl~ said...

Well, for the panty raiders the object of desire is still an abstraction not yet owned by them, so the singular would be a panty. As soon as they put them on, however, they become panties.

(Gosh, I can't wait to have kids so I can come up with these explanations all the time and really mess up their cognitive schema)

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Ah, of course! Your theory stands. (And now I know who to come to with these sorts of questions. ;-) )

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Mel said...

Word nerd here: I had to go check the OED. Both the singular "panty" and "pant" (for pants) are American (possibly regional) variations from about 1930s-50s, mostly disappearing by early 1970s.
The word "panties" used for underpants is early-mid 20thc. The first recorded uses in 19thc are derogatory terms for men's long pants.
"Panties raid" just doesn't have the right ring to it, I guess. (c.1950s is when newspapers apparently began reporting such events)

I've always hated the word panties. "Underwear" is what I usually go with, if I have to discuss the topic.

 
At 11:46 PM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Thank you, Word Nerd! :-) I'm pleased to have the OED explanation for this mystery. I, too, find the term "panty" quite ridiculous. (That's why my BPC membership makes me laugh.) For what it's worth, I can promise this will be my last blog entry on the subject.

 
At 2:14 AM, Blogger Manorama said...

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At 2:16 AM, Blogger Manorama said...

Oh, God. My mom gets sooo excited about those cards. She always keeps one in her purse, "just in case." Yes Mom, a trip to the family's favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner will likely result in a bra and panty shopping spree at J.C. Penney's. Worst of all, she will do anything to shop there and get another punch on the card. My bra size is extremely difficult to find in the department store, so she will order hideous beige concoctions from the catalogue. Ugh. BPC is not for me!

 
At 2:39 AM, Blogger Benedict said...

I thought I should mention the one and only time I ever noticed the singular form of 'scissors.' But it's not as much fun to tell you all outright, so I'll offer the quote, and see if anyone can guess the source:

"Arietty, use the scissor."

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger Suzie Creamcheese said...

Hi! I stumpled across your blog from the navbar on top. Very entertaining! Keep on writing!

 
At 12:15 AM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Thanks, Suzie. I like your site as well. (Especially the recent open letter to your mom.)

Meanwhile, Benedict, I think the answer to your quiz is The Borrowers. But I cheated by googling the name.

 
At 1:20 AM, Blogger Benedict said...

For shame; I had considered warning everyone off search engines, but I didn't think anyone would have to be told not to cheat.

 

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