Crisp: (adj) primarily food which is firm and fresh; not soft or wilted:
Bends but does not snap.
If you bought some celery from the store and a stalk bends but does not snap in the center, it is officially not crisp.
Yet in everyday life, normally that which is bendable, flexible, pliant is considered more usable than anything that would snap in the middle when challenged.
What do we really want to be crisp?
Oh, sometimes we throw it in as a descriptive word. It doesn’t really mean anything.
“That was a really crisp dance routine.”
“The delivery of his speech was articulate and crisp.”
We probably should have abandoned the word long ago.
Although we extol the beauty of something being crisp, we don’t necessarily like crisp things.
I’ve heard people say, “There’s nothing like a large, crisp apple.” But I’ve also walked into a party and seen apples laying on tables with one bite out of them—because they were too crisp.
Then there are foolers.
Somebody offers you an “apple crisp.”
But it isn’t crisp. It’s deliciously moist and gooey.
We don’t even want our cereal to be crisp. Some people insist they want it crunchy but that gets annoying after a while. Can we be candid? One of the better parts of a bowl of cereal is lifting it up to your lips and slurping down the last little bit of milk—accompanied by some soggy pieces of corn flake or Captain Crunch.
I would not want to be an agent assigned to promote “crisp.” Candidly, I think it comes off a little self-righteous. You might even be frightened to be around “crisp” because its standards are so high that you would fear you would never be able to measure up.
After all, celery that isn’t crisp can still be chopped up and thrown into a stew or Thanksgiving dressing. You may not want to smear it with peanut butter—but how often does that really come up? Only when you’ve run out of chips, dips and buffalo wings and you gratefully discover a jar of peanut butter and some normally ignored crisp celery.