Critter

Critter: (n) any creature.

Painful as it may seem, sometimes you just have to make a decision.

Neutrality may appear to be a safer ploy, but if you continue to insist that you can go one way or another, you usually end up going nowhere.

I will give you two examples of what I’m talking about.

The first one would be our selected word for the day—”critter.”

Although Webster insists it is synonymous—equal, if you will—to the word “creature,” you and I know it is not.

If I were sitting at a dinner with people of education, prominence and self-imposed superiority, and I were to utter the word “critter,” they would immediately assume that the conversation needed to be doled out in syllables of less than three.

Yes, I would be classified as a bumpkin.

I might be viewed as a hillbilly.

Considered quaint, but not cute.

And they would be afraid that I might break out into strains of Dixie, insisting that “the South will rise again.”

I don’t care what state you’re from (except maybe Mississippi). If your governor kept referring to creatures as critters, you might think it was a populist choice. But even if you were a small-town type person, you would be suspicious about trusting this individual to be in charge of the state treasury.

No, I don’t think you can say “critter” and not have all the accoutrements, sins, attributes and burdens of the Dixon part of the Mason cast upon you.

The same thing is true with the word “y’all.”

You can say, “All of you,” or “us together,” but the minute you say “y’all,” memories of moonshine and the Klan pop into the mind of your hearer, and you are cast among the ignorant.

I am not saying I agree with this, considering that I lived in the South for many years. But I have also traveled all over, and even though I grew up in Ohio, if I go to Wisconsin, they will insist I have a Southern accent.

It’s not because I have a drawl or a twang.

It is simply because sometimes I chat y’all up ‘bout ma’ critters.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 


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Allegory

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allegory: (n) a story, poem or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one: e.g. Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the spiritual journey.

I am not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, the word “reality” became synonymous with “truth.”

Reality is not truth. Rather, it is our present fallen position.

Often we have to escape reality to climb a little higher to see over the mounds of our own stupidity. Yet in the past thirty or forty years, entertainment, education and even our politics have boasted their “open-mindedness” and intellectual pursuits by taking a snapshot of ongoing human behavior, insisting that it is a tableau of our destiny.

Isn’t that ridiculous?

So when I think about the allegory, I realize that it is almost a lost art–because allegory does exactly the opposite of reality movies and TV. The allegory says there are principles, feelings and ideas which are eternal and lasting–which only need to be passed through the prism of our present understanding in order to enlighten us.

Just because people are going through a season when they think God is mean, or doesn’t exist at all, does not mean that’s what they will feel in five years.

What is the consensus of human need on the issue? Find that–then draw an allegory, using the language of our times to present everlasting truth.

  • I don’t want society deciding what is valuable.
  • I don’t want to have a conversation with someone about television shows which extol violence, crime, graft, greed and incest and have him look at me with pity because I don’t understand that it’s “a true story.”
  • I don’t want to watch vampires suck the blood out of werewolves as witches place curses on hobbits who are out to pursue rings by killing dragons and believe that I am out of step because it is just necessary escapist fantasy. Maybe Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are attempts at allegory, but they are so cluttered with the inclusion of destiny that they lose the passion of free will.

I admire allegory.

I appreciate the way Jesus used allegory in parables, explaining the kingdom of God to people by referencing fish, coins, bread yeast and mustard seeds instead of merely bitching about the Romans and complaining about the boring Pharisees.

Reality is not truth.

Truth is finding a way to share what has blessed our species for thousands of years … in a contemporary fashion.