Another Kind of Holiday Stress

How do you say “Thanksgiving”? “THANKSgiving” or “ThanksGIVING”?

According to an article in Mental Floss, if Thanksgiving, which is thoroughly an English word, actually behaved like an English word, the stress would be on the first syllable. (Think of words like SEAfaring, BABYsitting, HANDwriting, ALMSgiving, etc.)

Linguist John McWhorter believes a shift to stressing the second syllable of Thanksgiving is reflective of the way our view of the holiday has shifted, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” I don’t know if I buy that…the word has always been “ThanksGIVING” for me and about gratitude. Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing. 

However you pronounce it, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the grace and abundance in our lives. In these turbulent times, it’s often easy to overlook our abundance and focus on scarcity and what we think we need.

I am reminded of this quote, attributed to a variety of people: 
“I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a person who had no feet.”

This THANKSgiving, let’s GIVE thanks for all of the ways we have been blessed and pray for those who have no shoes, no feet, no shelter, no community, no food, no home; for those who live in fear and violence. Our THANKS will truly mean something when we work to bring justice to the oppressed, and when we share our own abundance.

Kathy Flynn, OP
Milwaukee, WI


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