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Word Origin Comics: The Rise and Fall of the Word 'Pretty'

04/15/2015 04:06 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2015

How pretty you look? Really? "Pretty," when you come down to it, is pretty relative, as in "pretty awful." Even Einstein's theory of social relativity bordered on such: " Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute."

Do women have an obligation to be pretty? Not according to Erin McKean who said,

You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female.'

Find its use all too cute for words? Explore a time when the word actually meant something, in a pretty cute exercise right here.

From a series of of educational comics by Larry Paros.

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Follow Larry Paros @
insomanywords.net

More fun with words by Larry
bawdylanguage.com