As one with about 11 years experience in the book selling business, I can concur with the last sentence. I used to marvel at the number of printings that THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY went through in hardback, before the demand softened enough too cause a paperback edition. You'll never go broke underestimating the reading public, apparently.
I have never read 'The Bridges of Madison County', but I once lived in the part of the country where it takes place, so I can tell you that the main reason it was popular in the midwestern United States is because people were overjoyed to see their region of the country portrayed in a major novel, and portrayed accurately and honestly, that makes midwesterners look like normal human beings and not just dumb hicks, as is the normal cliche. That is one of those books that makes it seem 'romantic' to have an adulterous affair, right?
Yep. Makes the dull house wife's life glow.
But a midwestern popularity alone couldn't account for the (50+, was it?) hard back printings it went through. Must be house wifes with dull lives all over the country.
Um...*cough, cough*...speaking on behalf of the numerous SAHM (Stay at Home Moms), those who do and don't homeschool, "housewife" is a very disparaging term. They're not married to the HOUSE, are they? No. I don't think so. Not any more than a "fireman" is a man on fire, as opposed to someone who fights fire - therefore, he - or she - would correctly be a "firefighter." It never ceases to amaze how far we, as a society, have gotten from proper English syntax.
GKC: The grammatically correct term for what you describe is a HOMEMAKER.
[End of thread hijacking...on with the regularly scheduled thread...]
No, that would be the politically correct term for it. As also for your other examples. A housewife is the female head of a household, per common English usage prior to the current degenerate days; the "disparaging" exists only in the eyes of certain persons. It never ceases to amaze me how easily society (or some portions thereof) can cave to linquistic cranks. I well recall back in my Air Force days, many years ago, when the term "Airman" as the generic appellation for enlisted troops, was banned. We tried "Airperson", but it was not well received. My choice was "Airentity".
Husband (for nigh unto 38 years) of a fantastic stay at home mom, who raised our wonder child far better than I earned the financial portion of our joint enterprise, concurrently. Division of labor; she won, hands down.