To Renege or Not to Renege. That is the question!

I recently read an article about a company who made a promise and then changed its mind and went in the total opposite direction. The article lambasted the company for reneging on a promise.

Renege (ri-nig) is a verb that means to go back on one’s word. It’s that plain. It’s that simple. You don’t do what you say. Let’s say one morning before work, you promised your wife that you would help her that evening hang those new lace curtains in the front room. Then, you had an awful, terrible, no-good, very bad day at work. When you got home, you just didn’t feel like hanging curtains. Sitting catatonic in front of the TV with the remote in one hand and a Big Gulp in the other was more appealing. So, you hunkered down for the evening and barely grunted an acknowledgment to your wife when she politely requested your help. You reneged on your promise.

I have reneged on what I have said to my neighbor. Let me explain. We planted quaking aspens in our yard. At the time, I thought they were delightful trees. I loved listening to the gentle rustle of the leaves in a soft breeze. I enjoyed watching their silver leaves glitter in the sun. I thought their shape was graceful and pleasing. Now, after twenty years of fighting all of the suckers that come up in our lawn and in my flowerbeds, they are the bane of my existence. (Do you recall that bane was a word I shared back at the beginning of January?)

Suckers have grown up on our neighbor’s side of the fence. He indicated that he would like to have them grow there. (Yeah, so he wouldn’t have to pay for the cost of trees himself!!) I said that would be fine. Now, I want those quakies chopped down!!! I don’t want any quakies within 10 miles of my yard! I have reneged and have cut down some of the quakie suckers on his side of the fence!

Sometimes, when someone reneges on a promise to you, you feel like lambasting him. Before I get into the definition of lambaste, I would like to chat with you about the spelling and pronunciation. You can spell lambaste with or without the ‘e’ on the end. If you spell it with the ‘e,’ you pronounce it with a long ‘a’ sound (lam-beyst) to rhyme with the word ate. If you spell it without the ‘e,’ you pronounce it with a short ‘a’ sound (lam-bast) to rhyme with the word cat. Personally, I prefer the spelling without the ‘e’ and prefer pronouncing it with the short ‘a’ sound . . . .

Lamast is a verb that means to attack verbally, to reprimand or berate harshly, to angrily scold or severely censure someone. Sometimes movie critics will lambast an actor’s performance if the critic feels the actor did poorly. Sometimes customers lambast a waiter for poor service. Sometimes wives lambast husbands for just about anything!!

Back to those lace curtains. (Can you tell what I hope to be doing tonight???) Let’s say that after lambasting said catatonic husband (which really doesn’t describe my husband!), he acquiesces and helps you hang up the curtains. Acquiesce (ak-wee-es) is a verb that means to agree, to comply silently or without protest, to consent, to accept.

Sometimes (after a lot of persuasion), a parent will finally acquiesce to a child’s request to stay up later. (This acquiescing isn’t usually silent nor is it without protest! It’s merely agreeing with the child’s request!) Maybe your business partner acquiesces to your business plan idea. You might be in a discussion with a friend about what to do on Friday night. After he gives you a compelling reason for his idea, you acquiesce.

With the imminent advent of spring, there are sure to be scattered flurries of fundraisers where soccer teams sell pizzas. There might be microbursts of Girls Scouts selling cookies or thunderstorms of choirs selling cookie dough. May you pleasantly acquiesce to their sales pitch and shell out a few dollars. After all, it’s for a good cause!


One Response to “To Renege or Not to Renege. That is the question!”

  1. ed bedural Says:

    very educational.. i learned not just the pronunciation of renege but how to use it as well…

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