04 December, 2006

a giant christmas-time peeve

we're deep in the heart of the "holiday" season now, and once more, amongst the garland and tinsel and silver bells a twinkling, my biggest christmas-time peeve rears it's ugly head.

betcha ya wanna know what it is, doncha? no?

fine, well, i'm going to tell you anyway.

it's the use of "scrooge" as a noun. not so much that scrooge has become a noun; that's a terribly common sort of thing in english, and one of the ways the tongue evolves. no, it's the meaning that irks me. we've all used it this way, likely myself included. but it still bothers me when "scrooge" is used to indicate someone who dislikes the christmas season, or is generally miserly, miserable and misanthropic. why? because any semi-sentient being who has read "a christmas carol", or seen one of the many stage and/or film adaptations (muppet version included) should know the point of the story is the fucking redemption of ebenezer's soul. the book ends with scrooge being remembered as a man who knew how to keep christmas. yet, all we seem to have retained in our collective, cultural memory is "bah, humbug!". why is that? do we just not, as a people, honestly believe in redemption? or is the name just too evocative of miserliness? it certainly has the right sound for it.

regardless, it irks me. for if nothing else, it says something about reading comprehension.


topazz said...

well dang it twif, I have to disagree with you on this one. I believe wholeheartedly in redemption.

Oh, and btw: God Bless Us, Every One.

twiffer said...

well that's good. so it's a toss up twixt poor reading comprehension and dicken's knack for names, then, is it?

Keifus said...

Sure, redemption was the point of the story, but it wasn't the fun part. The whole save-your-soul thing was a little obligatory nineteenth-century pious melodrama, but everyone tuned in to see old uncle Ebenezer deny Bob Cratchit even a single damn lump of Christmas coal. Scrooge the crank was entertaining. Scrooge the redeemed was the necessary story that Dickens had to hang around him.

K (exaggerating, but you get my point maybe.)

obfuscati said...

keifus: marry me! [no, don't. but you get my point.] i love the victorians and their writings, but they really were such overly pious moralizing prigs sometimes.

twif: [grin]ch!

Claude Scales said...

"Here I raise mine Ebenezer,
Hither by thy help I'm come."

rundeep said...

I use it only as a verb: "Go Scrooge yourself." Is that wrong?

twiffer said...

run: yes. i'll think of an approriate punishment.

maximo said...


uh oh. now you're scrooged.

avec much amor,