WHAT WE CALL OURSELVES
Dick Johnson writes: "When I was in the medal business I
often spelled out the words "medal" and "metal" since both
words sound so similar in speech. Particularly so on meeting
a new acquaintance or they would think I brokered fabricated
metal or such. "I was M-E-D-A-L dealer."
What makes matters worse there are two other words, called
homonyms, that also sound like medal: "meddle" meaning to
interfere, and "mettle" -- like temper of a sword blade -- the
quality of temperament of a person's disposition or spirit.
I clipped an editorial from The New York Times, May 14,
1992, and added this to my clip file. The article endorsed the
action of composer Stephen Sondheim, who rejected the
Medal of Art from the National Endowment for the Arts. It
stated the new chairwoman meddled with the grants for
several university art centers, an action which many in the
art community objected.
Hooray for Stephen Sondheim! He upholds the spirit of his
art commitment, attesting to his mettle. Too bad he didn't get
his medal (which of course, is made of metal, but the Times
didn't mention that!) Moral for medal administrators: don't
meddle; it will diminish your mettle.
You paper money enthusiasts can call yourselves anything
you wish, just spell it every time you meet a new acquaintance!
I'll bet you go back to P-A-P-E-R M-O-N-E-Y."
Wayne Homren, Editor
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