E. Dian Moore
Up until I was 30 years of age, I thought that “awry” was pronounced "ah-ree." I certainly knew what the word meant, had read it often, but had never heard it pronounced. So, some cockeyed place in my brain stored the wrong pronunciation. It joined the ranks of the many words I still don't know how to pronounce, most of them located in the Bible. In fact, attempting to pronounce Biblical words on my own is certainly going to go awry.
Imagine my relief, upon discovering the correct pronunciation, that I had never had occasion to use the word “awry” in actual conversation. But now that I had overcome my articulation disability, I was eager to dazzle everyone with my superior vocabulary. I immediately set out to use the word:
“Sorry, dear. I’m afraid supper has gone awry.”
“I’m afraid that my attempts to fix a meal went awry.”
“Supper is ruined. You know . . . awry.”
“You’re not making sense. Why would supper go on a ride?”
“This conversation is going awry.”
“I'm calling your doctor.”
Other attempts to use “awry” always disintegrated into rude comments about my state of mind. I grew wary. Suspicious. What kind of evil little word is it anyway? Hah! I finally knew who made up that word. After all, who's to blame when anything has gone awry?
I learned two life-changing lessons from this small word:
1. When God is present, there are no opportunities to use the phrase, "gone awry."
2. Never speak the word "awry" aloud. Use it only on paper, where it belongs. Otherwise, people think you are nuts.
I've also been inspired to create a bumper sticker: "Gone Awry? God Makes Life Alright."
And perhaps I will make a sign to hang on my office door: "Gone Awry. Will Return After Sending Knee-Mail."
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This article is not only cute, cute, but you made a fantastic point. It was so well written, in fact, that my perfectionist's brain did not go awry thinking of ways it could have been worded one bit better. :::wink::: I've been blessed by it. Thanks.