Cringe

Cringe: (v) to cower in fear

My last name is spelled C-R-I-N-G.

Throughout my entire life, people have mispronounced it as C-R-I-N-G-E.

Though I try to be understanding, I do not comprehend why they don’t see that the pronunciation is merely “ring” with a C in front—Cring.

Or why not look at the name and do that beautiful, humble piece of humanity:

“Could you help me with the pronunciation of your name, so I don’t mutilate it?”

But many, many, many folk go ahead and pronounce it “Cringe,” and then are surprised when I correct them, exhibiting a mixture of, “Why don’t you get a better last name?” and “What’s the big deal?”

Well, you see, the big deal is that I do not want to be named after a word which connotes that I cower in fear. I have purposely avoided fear in my life and have certainly never adopted a profile of cowering.

This experience taught me one piece of wisdom.

Audacity rarely has virtue.

It is much too sure of itself.

It is self-reliant and often brash.

The amount of humility it takes to be certain about someone’s name is equivalent to the amount of progress you’re going to make as a human being in our tribe.

If you’re not sure, just ask.

Don’t take a stab at it.

Because like most stabs, it can really hurt.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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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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