Saturday, September 1, 2012

Grin and Bear It..But Please, Don't Bare It!

Interesting fact about Faith #1: when I was a kid, I loved panda bears.  Seriously.Loved.Them.  I named my pink teddy bear Panda Bear when I was four.  I had panda posters in my room.  I begged and begged to go to the Washington D.C. zoo to see the pandas.  I was mad about them.

Interesting fact about Faith #2: when I hit about twelve, I found romance novels.  And to my mother's everlasting chagrin, I loved them as much as I loved panda bears.  So I have been reading those bodice rippers for quite some time now (not that I'm admitting to being, you know, old or anything!).

The preceding statements qualify as my voir dire on the subject of bear vs. bare.

The two easiest definitions of bear and bare are very easy, and I'd be surprised if anyone got them confused.  But, to be on the safe side, let's talk about bear, the animal.  You've got your grizzly, your brown, and of course, your panda bears.  And maybe the occasional polar bear.  Easy, right?

And bare - well, the first thing that comes to my mind is naked (maybe that's those romance novels at work).  Bare-naked. Sans clothes.  Birthday Suit.

But, there are some other uses for bear and bare.

In the dictionary, there are actually thirty-three (yes, that's 33) definitions for bear. I like to think of most of them as either "carrying", "pressing", or "suffering" types of definitions.  I can't bear to keep this secret.  I will bear your child. The tree will bear fruit in the summer.  The roof can't bear the weight of all that snow. That gossip doesn't bear repeating.Names and locations are completely fictional and bear no resemblance to actual or historic persons. 

In contrast, the dictionary only lists eight definitions for bare.  And three of them are of the "naked" and "unadorned" variety.  It lists "the bare necessities" (not to be confused with the Bear Necessities from the Jungle Book movie) as something scarcely or almost sufficient.  And let's not forget one can bare their soul and just blurt some juicy secret they've been holding back (Darth Vader: "No. I am your father."). 

But, as I barely got any sleep last night, I cannot bear to draw this post out any longer.  I will bare my soul to you and tell you all I wish for right a panda bear.

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