7/13/09

Are You DISGRUNTLED?? Well, Today's Not the Day for That!

Every time I hear the word disgruntled, I think of another word, the one that usually follows: employees. How many times have you ever heard of anything being disgruntled other than employees or workers?

Well, the reason I ask is this: today, July 13th, is "Gruntled Workers' Day." What in the world is a gruntled worker? I figured gruntled was the opposite of disgruntled. So, if a disgruntled employee is someone who is irritated, agitated, upset, angry and such, then a gruntled employee must be someone who is happy, calm, satisfied. Right?

Merriam-Webster Online defines gruntled as "to put in good humor," as in "...were gruntled with a good meal and good conversation."

WordWeb offers the following for gruntle as a verb: "cause to be more favorably inclined; gain the good will of" and says related words are appease, assuage, conciliate, gentle, lenify, pacify.

I can tell you this: if someone were to say he is gruntled, my first thought would NOT be that the person is happy or in a good humor. The word just doesn't even sound pleasant!

Another source, http://www.esmerel.com/, says this: "And are you gruntled yet? The 'dis' of disgruntled is not the same as the 'dis' of 'dismayed.' It means 'completely', and so 'gruntled,' just as it sounds, is an old word that means 'grumbling.' Today, however, 'gruntled' has found its way into dictionaries as a word in its own right. If you look at the origin, you will see that it gives 'gruntled' as a back-formation from 'disgruntled.' People assumed that 'disgruntled' was a negative and invented the word 'gruntled.' Similar back-formations add new words to the English dictionary every year. . . ."

Other references either also submit gruntled as a back-formation or trace it back to a form of the word grunt.

So, being the inquisitive soul that I am, I decided to look up grunt. Here's what I found from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ for grunt as a noun:

1. a sound of grunting.
2. New England Cookery. a dessert, typically of cherries, peaches, or apples sweetened and spiced, and topped with biscuit dough.
3. any food fish of the family Pomadasyidae (Haemulidae), found chiefly in tropical and subtropical seas, that emits grunting sounds.
4. Slang. a soldier, esp. an infantryman.
5. Slang. a common or unskilled worker; laborer.

I like desserts as much as anyone, but I don't think I want to eat a dessert named grunt. (See def. 2 above.)

But, dessert or none, you go on and have yourself a Happy Gruntled Workers' Day, okay?

4 comments:

Sandee said...

I'm retired so I'm never disgruntled. Just saying.

Have a terrific day Sherry. :)

MA Fat Woman said...

I'm feeling a little gruntled myself. I think I have been eating too much cheese because I spend a lot of time in the potty grunting with no results. Maybe, I'll get some relief since today is National Gruntled Day!

Syd said...

I'm in stasis so not gruntled or disgruntled. Thankfully.

margarethall said...

Hi, Sherry! Last time I was "gruntled" was at a job and I left the darned thing! Sometimes, it is better to leave than to become what has been known now as "postal"...(sigh) But, thanks for the heads up on the national day....

 
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