Monday, August 29, 2005

Crape myrtles?

...or “crepe myrtles?”

Several of my alert readers pointed out that in yesterday’s post I mentioned crepe myrtles. They wondered if I was merely ignorant of the correct spelling (“crape myrtle”) or if I was trying to make some vague point or pun that nobody would get.

Meaning that they didn’t get it, and didn’t want to feel stupid. So they tried to accuse ME of making a careless or stupid mistake.

HA! They should have known better!

Although they pointed out (correctly) that a “crepe” is a very thin pancake, often rolled up and stuffed, they conveniently omitted the fact that the word comes from the French and Latin, and is descriptive of many things that are thin with a textured or “crinkly” surface.

(And that’s from a published dictionary, not my DotM!) (“Dictionary of the Moment”).

“Crape myrtle” is an alternate spelling of the more traditional “crepe myrtle.” The “crepe” in that term is descriptive of the shrub’s “showy clusters of variously colored flowers with crinkled petals.”

And, there’s a subtly difference in pronunciation between the two forms “crape” and “crepe.”

“Crape” rhymes with “grape.” “Crepe” has more of an “eh” sound that is somewhere between a short E and a long A. In fact, if you listen closely, there’s almost a diphthong in the word.

You regular readers will remember all about those, right?

So, the debate about “crape” or “crepe” is really kind of a “po-tay-to” vs. “po-tah-to” argument. In other words, it’s not worth arguing about.

On another unrelated note, if you care to leave a comment on this blog now or in the future, I regret that you’ll be subjected to typing a random word into a box to verify that you are a human being. Or you’re a very smart machine, because average machines are not supposed to be able to read that word.

I didn’t come up with that through my own considerable intelligence. Blogger suggested it as a method to limit spamming to actual humans who are willing to truly visit each blog they want to advertise on and type in the random word. We’ll see if it helps or not. The spam comments are just obnoxious enough that I’ll try this inconvenience on you REAL PEOPLE to see if it works.

Oh, btw, if the random word is something nasty, blame Blogger, as I had no control over it.

On a final unrelated note, since Tina has chosen to make fun of my family’s religion (micro-managing our vacation planning) and has revealed the secret of our lovingly hand made, individualized but matching ski sweaters (each of which comes with a hand-signed Certificate of Authenticity), I will have no choice but to publicly ridicule her if I don’t see some significant posting activity on her blog. Soon, and with some degree of regularity better that 4-5 times per year.

I may decide to reveal some of her porcelain phobias, although that would be the equivalent of a nuclear strike when probably this little pea-shooter mention of her blog two days in a row will be all it takes. Right, T?

(Oh, and thanks for letting us know Amy’s plans for next year. We hadn’t heard!)

(And Karyn... You wanted a picture? “Ask and Ye Shall Receive.” If the film’s been developed, that is.)


Anonymous said...

Tom Cruise. HA!!!

Anonymous said...

and the "word" thing... that's not even close to a word. that makes it a lot harder to type in because it just looks wrong whether you type it in right or not.

Karyn Lyndon said...

wow...i thought i would have to bug you for months. i have to admit your immediate fulfillment of my request kinda took some of the fun out of it. but what a nice looking family! i don't know that i'd go as far as tom cruise but you're a handsome guy. i thought you were some kind of hunchbacked, slack-jawed troll the way you avoided posting your pic.

and i spell it crepe but pronounce it crape...

Duke_of_Earle said...

Did you see Tom in "Vanilla Sky?" He had to wear a mask ("facial prosthesis").

The sweater hides the hunchback, and the mask covers the drooling slack jaw. But Carol loves me anyway.


kenju said...

"Kreps" ae what you eat. Down here, we call and spell them crape (rhymes with grape) myrtles. We even have a crape myrtle festival!

Anonymous said...

I always thought it was "crepe myrtle" too. I would have said that "crape" was incorrect, but i researched both spellings and sure enough! They are both acceptable.

Nankin said...

Just think what you get if you leave the "e" off the end of Crape. I don't get to read your blog as often since the big boys blocked the website. What a bummer!