Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Word Of The Week

cran

I learned this word recently, as I do many words, by watching tv. A commercial for the upcoming US Open tennis tournament used the tag line: US Open - Il faut avoir du cran. What is this cran stuff and why, I wondered, do tennis players need it?

According to the dictionaries, un cran is a notch or a cut in a material, like the notch in a belt for example. This didn't make much sense; tennis players need notches?

The second definition, however, is audacity, courage, or energy, as in having the guts to do or say something. And that's the definition that was being used in the commercial. Playing in the US Open takes guts, at least according to the US Open sponsors.

Since that ad, about a week ago, I've heard and seen the word used at least five times. I am constantly wondering how I can understand a single sentence of this language when so much of it sails right by me, not understood, every moment.

You've really got to have du cran to plunge into life in France!

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