Crisp

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.

 

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Chartreuse

Chartreuse: (n) a color between yellow and green

Tolerance is a good thing.

Acceptance–admirable.

Inclusion, divine.

There’s no doubt about it.

But by the same token, if you happen to be heterosexual, you don’t want to be gay. And I would assume those who are gay might be slightly offended at the notion
of being heterosexual.

Maybe it’s the remnants of prejudice–the ignorance of the masses being played out–but certain actions, choices, mannerisms and even speech patterns hint toward effeminacy.

We are still sensitive. Oh, we may march in the Gay Pride Parade, openly spouting that we don’t care if anyone thinks we’re part of the gang. But then–if someone actually does assume that we are of that persuasion, we are quick to whisper, “I’m just here to be supportive.”

With that in mind, I have been tempted from time to time to refer to something as “chartreuse.” The word nearly fell from my lips in a room filled with blue jeans, t-shirts and five o’clock shadows. Just in the nick of time, I pulled back and said, in my deepest basal tone, “You know. Kind of between yellow and green.”

In doing so, I removed any suspicion from the testosterone-driven gathering that I might be … well, gay.

You see, I don’t want to be gay. Honestly, I don’t like to think about being gay. I think it is possible to be tolerant without possessing total understanding of a situation.

So even though it may not be politically correct, I will tell you that I occasionally catch my hands on my hips and quickly remove them, am very careful at how I glance down at my fingernails, and certainly would not call a football jersey “chartreuse.”

 

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

Bleep

Bleep: (n) a short high-pitched sound

Dictionary B

Often the solution is worse than the problem.

I listen in horror as commercials on television tell me the side effects of drugs that are meant to be helpful.

I frequently find myself with my mouth agape as I try to comprehend how politicians intend to take their limited “party view” and make it expansive enough for a diverse nation.

I am baffled by a church that insists that prayer in any form is a replacement for personal touch.

And I just cannot fathom why the censors on television believe that “bleeping” profane words actually eliminates their impact.

We children of Adam and Eve certainly can be pretentious. This is probably why Adam and Eve chose the Tree of Knowledge over the Tree of Life. We would much rather present ourselves as intelligent instead of possessing a hunger for the journey.

I do not know what we should do with the slang and colloquial profanities that permeate our society. But bleeping them does not lessen their obvious content–matter of fact, it creates a game, causing those who listen to speculate.

So somewhere along the line we need to work on the human heart, which is where all speech finds its birth.

Otherwise, we’re going to need someone to constantly follow us around, bleeping as we go.

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


Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

Click here to get your copy now!

PoHymn cover jon

 

 

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.

 

 

Donate Button

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

Android

dictionary with letter A

Android: (n) In science fiction, a robot with a human appearance.

I was just sitting here realizing that the concept of android portrayed by the science fiction writer probably was derived from observing a bunch of human beings who appeared to be androids.

So it’s not so much that androids take on the attributes of humans, but rather, that so many humans we know have acquired aspects of the android personality.

  • Their speech is stilted.
  • Their facial features rarely change.
  • Their movements are stiff.
  • And unless reprogrammed, they continue to pop off the same information over and over again without any need for contradiction or any sense of embarrassment.

I have many relatives who are androids.

I have met many people in the business world who certainly could pass for one.

After all, the androids in the movies don’t really act human in the sense of being unpredictable, emotional and filled with both grief and glee. They are even-tempered, controlled beings who don’t sweat–mainly because they never exert.

So I’m not so sure we’ve created a robot that resembles humans, but rather, we already have humans that resemble this particular type of robot.

You see what I mean?

For if androids really were human-like, they would spend most of their time broken down and complaining about the lack of attention and a personal need to be oiled.

That would be a real human android. Otherwise, what you have is an android human, which unfortunately, fill the ranks of those who insist on filing.

Donate Button

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

Abulia

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abulia: (n.) an absence of willpower or an inability to act decisively, as a symptom of mental illness.

Did you notice that sneaky little chain of reasoning?

The dictionary just let us know that an absence of willpower is what causes indecision leading to a diagnosis of mental illness.

Does that scare anyone but me?

Sometimes the dictionary is very vindictive. It slides in a series of defining terms which are so narrow-minded and closely trimmed that one could actually feel intimidated or judged by the whole process.

To be blunt, I am OFTEN abulia. I DO lack willpower. Even though I am constantly trying to eat better, I refuse to lie and say that a salad or a bowl of vegetables is more scrumptious than an original recipe greasy thigh at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

It just isn’t.

Maybe the nutritious food is better for us, but it doesn’t win the “yummy” test.  So my willpower will sag upon occasion–but I never considered that it was due to the flaw of being indecisive. Truthfully, when I order barbecued ribs, it is very decisive and is initiated by a tremendous burst of food lust.

But I guess what the Old Dictionary means is that just an hour earlier, I probably gave an inspiring speech about my desire to rededicate myself to the abandonment of ribs, barbecued or otherwise, in the quest for better health and longevity.

But this final step is a KILLER. Is it really true that if I lack willpower, it means that I’m indecisive, which lends itself to conclude that I am suffering from mental illness? Is it possible that my restrictive diet will cause me to become a serial killer?

I will admit that I am occasionally crazed for a pizza “all the way,” but I really don’t think I would kill the delivery boy in my haste to snatch the box from his hands. Of course, I’ve never put myself in that situation, so who knows?

Abulia. Maybe it describes our political system: a lack of willpower to say no to special interest groups, lending itself to indecision and unwillingness to vote on certain issues, and thrusting to the forefront every kind of mental illness, deficiency and weirdness in our society.

I don’t know–maybe Old Dic got it right.

But I still think that occasionally desiring a thick, juicy steak does not mean that I have multiple personalities.

 

Abbreviate and Abbreviation

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abbreviate: v. to shorten a word, phrase or text. Abbreviation: n. the shortened form of a word, phrase or text

Short speech

Midgets and dwarves

Half the distance

Premature evaluation

Amputated proposals

Limited range

Reader’s Digest virgin

Cramped confession

Cut off at the past

Trim the lawn

Losing girth (Brooks) …

And the shortest distance between two pints is one quart.

Above is the abbreviated list of topics I was going to include in my essay. You may now put it together for yourself.