Cubit

Cubit: (n) an ancient linear unit based on the length of the forearm

Scouring my mind, I do believe the only time I’ve ever heard or read the word “cubit” is in the Book of Genesis and the story of Noah.

In this tale, God tells Mr. Noah to build an ark and “cubit” is one of the measurements to determine how big it’s going to be.

Once I discovered that a cubit is really about eighteen inches, I was able to go through the text of the narrative and ascertain how immense this boat was purposed to be.

Although it was a quite formidable structure, it probably was not large enough to hold all the animals of the world, even if they came two by two.

Now, I did not doubt the value of the story—trusting that what I read was inspired and I should go ahead and follow through on it.

But I would not hold to the veracity of every detail.

I have friends who would not associate with anyone if they found out that person did not believe that the Bible was the whole Word of God—inerrant and infallible.

I have other acquaintances who would doubt my sanity if I held fast to the Noah story as related by Moses in the book.

But one of the ways I know that every person, in his or her own mind, has found some interpretation that pleases them about the Great Flood is that we no longer use the word “cubit.”

Actually, eighteen inches would be a very handy length to place into our lexicon.

But it got associated with the story of an ark built by a man who believed the world was about to be flooded and it was his job to save a skeleton crew.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

 

Cross My Heart and Hope to Die

Cross my heart and hope to die: (v) to attest to the truth of something

The human race is known for two things: first, being created in the image of God; and second, being a bunch of goddamn liars.

Within the elevation of these two bracing points, we are suspended between heaven and Earth.

Because of this, when we need to express our deepest sincerity to others, we don’t seem capable of just saying, “Yes, this is true,” or “No, it is not.”

We fear that our human audience, being fully aware of the vicious nature of deceit which inhabits us all, will just naturally assume that we are one of the “Fibber McGees.”

So we have introduced words, like “sincerely, honestly” and “trust me” into our language, hoping that in doing so, the true depth of our veracity will shine through.

It doesn’t.

So over our history, we’ve initiated other thoughts to try to prove that we are on the level. Basically, we’ve started swearing. Not profanity. No—deep-rooted promises to back up our premises.

  • “I swear by my mother’s grave.”
  • “I’ll swear on a stack of Bibles.”
  • “I swear by my pinky finger.”

Or, “Cross my heart and hope to die.”

I guess this last one sounded effective to someone, thinking that threatening to remove one’s life from Earth might keep us from lying and cheating.

Of course, in reality, nothing prevents us from stretching the truth until it breaks and falls at our feet like useless trash.

So I think the suggestion that came along—to swear, make huge statements and crossing our heart and hoping to die—should probably just be replaced by a more old-fashioned dodge:

“Now what was the question?”

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Credibility

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Credibility: (n) the quality of being believable or worthy of trust

I suppose the most logical suggestion for gaining credibility is just refusing to lie.

Seems sensible. Here’s the problem:

You can’t get anyone to believe that you’re not lying.

And the more you insist you’re telling the truth or emotionally distraught you become, the more you look like an even worse liar.

Credibility is achieved by allowing the ideas you’ve fostered to prove themselves.

To have this happen, you must be willing to silently let time pass. That way, when it ends up that the things you spoke were accurate, faithful and honest, the human race around you can slow up long enough to respond, “Hey—you were right.”

If you don’t gloat over your veracity, they will gradually—and I say, very gradually—begin to assume that you are some strange alien who has come to Earth to expose the poison of “fibbing.”

But gaining credibility is never something that can be claimed, insisted upon, lobbied for or voted into office. When people realize that your “yes” actually means yes, and your “no” holds firm at no, then maybe—yes, maybe—they will start giving you points for credibility.

 

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