This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Thing Not To Be Today If You Can Possibly Avoid It: cynical.

'Hello? Is that Miss Sally?'

At this point the heart sinks. This person with the shaky knowledge of English forms of address will be phoning to sell me something I don't want - and, let's face it, even if I did want it I most definitely wouldn't buy it from him.

(I've written before about being called ma'am, which to a British female has much the same effect. And the males hate it.)

Hey, though, but what if I'm wrong? What if this is person is phoning to tell me I've won the lottery, and I actually have? (I know it's not likely for someone who's never bought a ticket, but still...)

What if it's someone phoning to offer me a multi-million pound film contract?

What if some unknown cousin has left me a mansion in Islington?

At this point, of course, the voice on the phone will ask me to take part in a survey, or offer to make my computer work faster, or ask me about my accident, my bank details, or my insurance. 

But, even so, it was worth hanging round long enough to find out what he wanted: because when hope stops springing eternal in the human breast then the world becomes a very bleak, dog-eat-dog place indeed.

Thing Not To Be Today If You Can Possibly Help It: cynical. This word comes from the Latin from the Greek kunikos, from ku┼Źn, which means dog.

I think this is unwarrantedly cynical about dogs, myself.












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