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Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Thing Not To Do Today: snivel.

Interviews which feature a long pause followed by a muttered sorry and a furtive wiping away of tears are currently very fashionable.

That kind of interview has provided us with some fine professional examples of showing distress (or pretending to) in style. To snivel, however, is to have given up all attempt at dignity, to have acknowledged utter defeat, and to be completely involved in self-pity.

It accuses the rest of the world of abandonment and cruelty, and that's why the rest of the world (apart from the genuinely cruel) gets irritable in the face of it.

The genuinely cruel, on the contrary, are massively rewarded.

So don't give them any satisfaction.

Never, never snivel.

Thing Not To Do Today: snivel. This word is connected to the wonderful Old English word snyflung, which means mucus, and the Dutch snuffelen, to sniff out.

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