OK, this “morning musing” post is a) not really being posted in the “morning” (though I was musing about it then), and b) about as totally unrelated to photography as possible. Hey, its my (humble) blog!
Recently recipients of high honors or acclamations have been responding to these honors by saying, “I’m humbled.”
I just grabbed one definition of the word “humbled” off the web — from the Free Dictionary:
tr.v. hum·bled, hum·bling, hum·bles
- To curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate.
- To cause to be meek or modest in spirit.
- To give a lower condition or station to; abase. See Synonyms at degrade.
Imagine that the recipient of high honors and acclaim stood in front of those conferring the honor or award and announced:
“Your award humiliates me and destroys my pride. You have reduced me to a lower condition and station, and I am abased. You have degraded me. You make me meek. Your award demotes and dishonors me and devalues me.”
Actually, you don’t have to imagine. That is essentially what it means when a person claims to be “humbled” by an honor!
If you want to have even more fun with this, see some of the synonyms and related words listed in one of the comments following this post. Using them, our recipient might add:
Thank you for demeaning and discrediting me, humiliating me, and bringing me shame. It is wonderful to be taken down and dishonored by a group such as yours. I am embarrassed and grateful that you have castigated and diminished me in this way. I thank you for your ridicule and bad-mouthing disparagement and for presenting me with such a slanderous public affront.
I think that the people misusing the word “humbled” in this context actually mean well. They are trying to express gratitude and to not seem fat-headed or egotistical — and those are good things. However, there are better words to convey what they likely want to say. How about: “I’m grateful. Thank you. You have honored me. I never thought that this would happen. I deeply appreciate this. I want to thank all of the people who have supported me. I hope I can live up to your expectations. This means a lot to me.”
And thus ends my humble rant. ;-)
Morning Musings are somewhat irregular posts in which I write about whatever is on my mind at the moment.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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