Crème

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Crème: (n) cream

Sometimes I foolishly allow myself to get on a jag of discovering correct grammar, proper sentence structure, and believe it or not, accurate spelling.

In the midst of this pursuit, I occasionally stumble on a word that has an old-time spelling and a new-fangled spelling without any particular consensus on which one is definitively correct.

Idiot that I occasionally am, I adopt the unusual spelling or pronunciation, thinking it makes me a trifle uptown or high-falutin’.

The result is always the same.

All the people who do not share my predilection for a historical study of the English language—etymology—immediately wonder why in the hell I use the word etymology when I wasn’t mentioning insects.

I know they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I am positive I have discovered some nugget of personal treasure which I am offering in order to seem expansive.

But inevitably, I’ll be corrected—rudely.

In one of my novels I wrote that my character requested “coffee and crème.”

First, my spellcheck had a stroke. (You know—when the squiggly line is SO dark and red that you realize it’s coming from a rage from spellcheck’s childhood.)

I resisted spellcheck and had it published, only to hear from grammar Nazis, concerned friends, and those who joined the club (which probably is called, “Cream Should Be Spelled C-R-E-A-M.”) They all asked me to reform. I became defensive, which made them believe that I was not only ignorant, but mentally challenged.

So I have learned in a world that talks a good game of creativity while desperately extoling the status quo, to let the cream rise to the top and let the crème sink to the bottom.


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Arithmetic

dictionary with letter A

Arithmetic: (n) the branch of mathematics dealing with the manipulation and properties of numbers.

Arithmetic is definitely one of them.

It is one of the four basic skills required to maintain an adult life without constantly looking inept.

I wish I had known that when I was in high school. But fortunately, I did learn enough addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to handle my finance and everyday activities without always requiring a calculator in my hand, with numbers too tiny to punch.

Would you be curious about the other three?

Number 2. Reading.

Yes, often people ask us to read aloud–and if we stumble over words or are too slow, it is immediately surmised that we are mentally challenged.

3. Writing. Although grammar can be a naughty mistress or a nagging wife, there are certain qualifications necessary to be part of the human family. One should know that “you are,” as a contraction, is spelled y-o-u’r-e, not y-o-u-r.

If you are not familiar with several of these common mishaps-in-print, you will be laughed at by the snobs and bewilder the kinder folk.

4. Can you make a two-minute speech on your feet without spending 72 seconds of it explaining why you’re not good at it? We are a gregarious race, and demand that those around us have the ability to articulate their feelings without having too many a-a-h-s, umms, or … what was I saying?

Arithmetic is very important. Without it, things just don’t add up.

 

 

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix