Confirmation

Confirmation: (n) the action of confirming something

Knowing that you’ve been perplexed and even perturbed by the uncertainty in our world, I offer to you the following confirmations:

  1. No one is better than anyone else. (You knew that when you were a little kid, but the adult journey has attacked your faith in the concept.)
  2. Men and women are equal, unless they act like boys and girls
  3. Arguing about religion is comical, since no one really knows one way or the other
  4. Since banks are reluctant to take a two-party check, we might want to check over our two party system
  5. Waiting for the end of the world prevents you from beginning.
  6. Losing weight is not the issue–trying to lose weight makes you healthier.
  7. No race has the best athletes. A race is just that–a sprint.
  8. There is no real substitute for cheese. Save up your calories.
  9. Laughing makes you child-like. Pouting makes you childish.
  10. If life isn’t easy, then work harder to make it easy.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

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Collaborate

Collaborate: (v) to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.

A pot of soup is a collaboration.

So is a deli tray.

Yet there is a massive difference between the two.

No one takes a bite of soup and comments on the beauty of the onion. It is a completed, dissolved entity, where all collaborations of flavors work toward a
common title: SOUP.

On the other hand, a deli tray has cheese, meats, vegetables with dip and maybe even some tomatoes. They lie side by side, collaborating, but simultaneously promoting themselves.

Once upon a time in a land they called the New World, people of all nationalities arrived on the shore of a budding wilderness and worked together to make “one nation under God, indivisible.”

When the need arose to provide “liberty and justice for all,” it became necessary that we melt into one another instead of segregating off into our individual portions on some sort of national deli tray.

The success of this country is based upon how well we have done that.

Right now it appears that our collaboration is a Dutch oven of boiling water, with all the ingredients sitting on the stove, waiting to be placed inside–a merger.

Instead, we put it off and we just boil.

Nothing cooks together.

Nothing flavors another.

We try to be a soup but we still resemble a deli tray.

Sooner or later, great collaboration demands that we drop into the pan and disappear, to form the “one perfect union.”

 

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Brie

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Brie: (n) a kind of soft, mild, creamy cheese with a firm white skin

I’m as guilty as the next person in finding practices, methods and terminologies that are considered to be preferred, and then promoting them to let folks know how cool I am.Dictionary B

I will drop a brand name at just the right moment to confirm that I am aware of fashion.

I will mention a particular book I read or movie I saw to explain the depth of my current affairs.

So recently when I was planning a party and I brought up the word “cheese,” what came to my mind was Swiss, mozzarella, provolone or cheddar. If there were budget constraints I would even consider Velveeta. I inadvertently mentioned everything (except Velveeta) and a friend lurched back in horror, explaining that these were not cheeses–merely marketable molds.

I was told that Brie was the only acceptable variety that could be served at a party for “know-about-its.” Anything else placed on a platter would appear to either have been an accident or an affrontation.

I was especially startled when I discovered the price of this cheese, and realized that someone had succeeded in marketing their particular sour milk product as “refined”–to the detriment of other Wisconsin standards.

I have to admit to you that I took a risk.

I bought a cheese that looked like Brie and put it on the plate, assuming that no one knew what the product was–just desired confirmation that it was “the good stuff.”

Comically, they ate the “cheese food” product all night long, content that they were among the elite, consuming Brie. Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 


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Background

Background (n) the circumstances or situation prevailing at a particular time or underlying a particular event.

“What’s your background?”Dictionary B

A very popular question.

I learned many years ago to dodge all inquiries which attempt to squeeze me into a favorable box.

Once people discover the roots of my nationality, the place of my birth, my chosen occupation and even my favorite color, for some reason, these nosy neighbors determine that they know enough about me to converse with me–or even market a product–in my direction.

I believe this is why we’re so juiced up on the idea of cultures and customs. Because once we determine that somebody is from Jamaica, then we are most assuredly confident that they must love reggae music.

So how difficult is it to be a rock and roll advocate and live in Jamaica?

How absolutely frustrating must it be to live in Wisconsin and have never eaten cheese?

Can you actually dwell in Iowa or Nebraska without having a running dialogue on raising corn?

The thing that makes us most uninteresting is the thing that we seem to pursue with great fervor.

“Let me shrink who you are so that who you are will fit into what I need you to be.”

So even as I watch the phenomenon of the gay community gaining credence in our society, television insists that all gay people speak with a lisp, love theater, cry at the drop of a hat and are basically snarky.

So what are we really achieving when we claim to be accepting of people–but we’re really only accepting of people when they arrive in large, definable clumps?

I will not tell you my background.

What I will share is my present footing and what I dream to be my foreground.

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Again

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Again: (adv) another time; once more

It’s all about french fries.

For a very brief season, french fries lost their appeal–they became an afterthought: “Would you like fries with that?”

Having already selected my sandwich of choice and determined my milkshake preference, I had french fries thrust upon me by my server, giving me the sensation that they were trapped in the back, toasted brown, desperately lonely. Matter of fact, in that era, not much care was put into them.

They began to taste like fried sticks.

So you had to decide if you were gonna have french fries AGAIN.

You see, the trouble with the word “again” is that it threatens to become repetitive, bringing sameness to our lives, which causes us to become bored, robbing us of entertainment.

Thus french fries.

Matter of fact, I am not sure they could have survived this season of doldrums if someone had not come along to smear them with cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and I don’t know…maybe even whipped cream. Then french fries gained interest because they brought along friends and a fresh outlook. They were welcome–even flirting with the possibility of bumping the main course.

It’s not that there’s anything WRONG with “again,” but normally when we use the word, our voices trail off into the great pit of despair:

  • “I have to go to school … again.”
  • “It’s Sunday morning church … again.”
  • “I’ve been married for thirty years. I guess it’s time to kiss my wife … again.”

If we don’t do something to spice up the side dishes of our lives with innovation and flavor, having something “again” will never be pleasant. It will become the kind of march to blandness that convinces us that we’ve been cheated rather than blessed.

I’m going to write my essay again …but I’m going to make it cheesy and spicy.

Adjure

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adjure (v): to urge or request someone solemnly to do something. e.g. I adjure you to tell the truth.

I have been part of discussions that started out in a desperate attempt to remain civil, often by using fancier language and cautious terminology. I’ve even heard people who were trying to convince me of the error of my ways tell me that they “adjure me” to consider another option.

The end result, in my experience, to those ventures in civility are that they eventually break down and people start slinging their hash instead of sipping their wine and nibbling their cheese.

Now, I DO understand the importance of humane treatment and respectful dialogue. But if you put a cork in a bottle and the pressure builds up, the cork can explode, impaling a near-by victim.

We have to be careful when we go into a situation with great feelings of animosity and bruised emotions, that we don’t merely put off the avalanche of misgivings by trying to build a safety net.

This actually makes things worse. Let me tell you what turns a simple conversation into a heated discussion and ultimately causes it to degrade into a nasty argument.

1. Unrealistic expectation. If people are mad, they’re mad. Setting rules for the dialogue only makes them madder.

2. When we try to hide our true sensations behind words like “adjure,” we end up coming across as condescending. (“Well, I guess I didn’t expect you to understand, given your situation.”) Condescension is what changes a normal conversation into a heated discussion.

3. Abandoning the subject. Once we feel someone has been condescending to us, the leap to rampaging usually occurs when we completely abandon the present subject, to attack the other individual personally. It can be bringing up the past, pointing out a foible that you’ve never mentioned before, or just attributing to the partner in conversation a series of assertions that he or she deems to be lies.

So how can we resolve a conflict without becoming either “hoity-toity” or turning the situation into an episode of The Fight Club?

My suggestion is this: don’t let moments pass.

If something occurs to you NOW, say it. By the time you share it later, it is completely blown out of proportion. Also, in the first fruits of frustration, we are more pliable about being wrong than we are when our hurts and pains have fermented in our brains.

Always keep in mind that big, unusual words–terminology grabbed to express supremacy–are usually received as an attack on the intelligence of the hearer.

You don’t have to agree with that, but I think when you let the sun set on your anger, you always wake up in the morning … certain that you’re right.