Debonair: (adj) courteous, gracious, and having a sophisticated charm

Here’s another thing to love about the United States of America.

Depending on where you travel, being debonair could be wearing an ascot—or eating with a fork.

That is the beauty of a nation which defines itself by how relaxed it is when it chows down, and also how, in the name of God, we never allow anyone to tell us what to do.

It is also why you probably will not hear the word “debonair” very often—unless it’s being touted in a sarcastic or negative manner.

Maybe a mother, seeing her son walk out of his room on prom night in his tuxedo, she might pop off with the word debonair.

Or I suppose it’s possible that some judge in a small-town talent contest might note that one of the contestants arriving dressed in a purple jump suit was attempting debonair.

‘Debonair’ is not something most Americans appreciate, or favor.

We equate it with a posing profile from the Continent, by a bunch of prissy people who are more concerned about the crease in their pants than about how well they come off to others.

So somewhere between slob and debonair, the United States floats along, putting on, every morning, the first thing that comes to mind and insisting all day long:

“It was meant to go together.”


Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAfar: (adv.) at or to a distance: e.g. our hero traveled afar

Here is a word that exists just so we can truly appreciate the value of being near. After all, anything we would really want “afar” is not really worthy of being discussed, is it? And if we’re actually going to travel, clarifying it by using a medieval term like “afar” seems a bit pretentious, if not culturally gross.

Yes, it’s another one of those words which, if we actually utter it, when it comes out of our mouth, it sounds like we’re posing for a painting, hopefully being admired by onlookers for our continental use of the King’s speak.

I feel sorry for “afar.”

Maybe it deserves better. Maybe it should be admired for having four letters and balancing two vowels and two consonants. (Yet how often would such an award of appreciation be available?)

I’m afraid “afar” suffers from what most of us do: it is too old and when it tries to insert itself into contemporary situations, looks a trifle ridiculous.

So here’s to the word “afar,” which quite honestly, from this point on … will need to follow its own obvious advice.