Mighty Red Pen

August 16, 2007

Beatify versus beautify

Filed under: Overseen,Word wars — mighty red pen @ 5:22 pm


Helen’s Dad took a quick break from taking his baby girl swimming in some Kansas watering hole to check in with MRP.

He wrote, “Okay, here’s the submission. Now, I’m not Catholic but I know there is a misspelling in the sentence below!”


He’s right. Okay, here’s the deal. The word they wanted was beatify, which means to be declared blessed by the Catholic church, as opposed to beautify, which means take her to get a mani-pedi and a trim.

In case you were wondering, what you’re looking at is a Mother Teresa trading card. HD said, “And don’t ask me why Topps has produced a Mother Teresa baseball card. I just don’t know. I guess ’cause she’s so darn beatiful.”



  1. This post tickles me. The thought of JPII giving Mother Teresa a postmortem makeover is so very wrong.

    Comment by Molie — August 20, 2007 @ 8:34 pm | Reply

  2. I don’t know if I’m more stunned that (a) David hasn’t shown off his beatific erudition or that (b) no one has bothered to riff on baseball card jokes — guessing some of your readership grew up occasionally getting a pack of cards (back when gum was included) when the family stopped for gas.

    For instance:

    “Mother Teresa led the league in conversions for the fifth consecutive year, breaking the hallowed mark set by St. Polycarp 2,000 years ago. The Mutha from Calcutta was downright canonical, outperforming the Angels in feeding the hungry, and leading her Society of Missionaries to edge out the Padres in overall deeds done for the glory of the Lord. Teresa enjoys golf and ice-fishing.”

    Comment by Helen's Dad — August 24, 2007 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

  3. I’m tickled, too, Molie. The thought of her getting a mani-pedi totally cracks me up.

    To be honest, Helen’s Dad, I was pretty surprised as well as that we haven’t heard from David on the subject. I thought he’d be all over the issue of beatifying Mother Teresa.

    Is there a lot of ice fishing in Calcutta or did she do that while on vacation?

    Comment by mightyredpen — August 25, 2007 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  4. I’m fairly certain that David will get around to beatifying Mother Teresa once he figures out how to do it in Latin. And has an audience present.

    Comment by Manna — August 28, 2007 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  5. I honestly don’t find the modern process of beatification and canonization particularly interesting. I guess I prefer the old-fashioned way in which a cultus would arise in the population and the church would scurry along a couple of hundred years later to recognize what everyone already assumed was the case.


    Blessed Teresa has been much in the news lately for not having faith. I wonder if that will affect her march to sainthood?

    Comment by David — September 4, 2007 @ 10:51 am | Reply

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