The Frivolity of February

Joy in an Oddly-Spelled Word

I asked a frivolous question on Facebook yesterday, thinking a few people might join in the fun:

Happy February. Do you pronounce it:
a) Feb-you-air-ee, or
b) Feh-brew-air-ee

Within a few hours I had dozens of responses. Some merely stated a or b, while others gave explanations for their choice (without the first r in everyday speech but sounding it out when needing to get the spelling right) or regional pronunciation (some parts of Australia apparently say Feb-ree). One person abandoned traditional spelling altogether and said it’s pronounced “Hello darkness my old friend.”

This is a lot more attention than usual for one of my posts.

The same day I wrote on my blog about Paul’s letter to Philemon and got a lot less interaction on Facebook regarding it. Zero Facebook comments, in fact. It’s not that no one appreciated the Philemon post. It got a small handful of likes and a comment on the blog page itself. But the frivolous February pronunciation post beat it out of the gate and went clear out of sight.

The Point of Frivolity

I get the impression that many people are not delighted with the way their lives are going now. People need relief.

That’s why a frivolous post about how to pronounce an oddly-spelled word can gain so much traction. The Bible says there is a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4) and I’ve found that the laughter can come at the most unexpected points in my life, like the doctor who made me laugh while telling me I needed a new medication.

Apparently that’s true with others as well, if the pronunciation post is any indication. So tell me, when has frivolity been a balm to your distress?

And tell me how you pronounce February.

***

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11 Responses to The Frivolity of February

  1. DragonLady says:

    My sponsor used to tell me (often) in my early sobriety that a good belly laugh was very therapeutic It does seem to be a fairly good tension reliever. I think that old saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” has some truth to it. But I think more a more truthful statement would be “All work and no play makes people cynical, angry, and unhealthy.”

    “Fay-bray-roh” – Because I am taking a Spanish class right now. 😀

    • Tim says:

      I slip into Spanish pronunciations all the time. Yesterday I was speaking to a group of Fulbright students from Argentina, though, and when I asked them about some Spanish words the pronunciation was much different from what I’m used to hearing.

  2. Esperanza says:

    1) Feb-you-air-ee
    2) “Paul’s concern for Onesimus reflects the concern Jesus said we are all to have for the little ones in his kingdom.” Yes.

  3. Jeannie Prinsen says:

    I was telling someone the other day about all the funny moments when my mom was sick:
    – her telling one of my brothers (during her delirious state) that he was “the sign of the promised land”
    – her saying that the hospital staff would know we were from the country because she, Dad, and I were all wearing plaid
    – her telling my brother that she should have some say in decisions about the farmhouse because “after all, it WAS my kingdom.”
    I love remembering these moments. They were little oases in a very difficult time.

  4. Nancy2 says:

    Given the spelling, I always pronounce February wrong – I catch myself when I do it, but who cares? I was Janu-weary. Now, I’m already Febu-weary.

  5. Some parts of New Zealand say Feb-ree! We might be East of Australia but aren’t one of it States! 🙂

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