According to etymology crisp is defined as meaning
“to become brittle”
though the use of brittle, I attest, would have to be its pejorative form.
Brittle’s connotations suggest something less desirable
as though calling a potato chip “brittle” would be an insult,
which is the highest of inconsistencies,
since I doubt anyone would want their chip soggy or leastways, malleable.
It is not a mistake that Chips and Crisp are nearly identical and easily mistaken in their spatial relationships:
The isss sounds with no ‘Z’ and the hard ‘P’ defends its case with its own onomatopoeia;
the sound of a chip crisply snapped;
or breaded and fried chicken crunching in my mouth;
or a hard pretzel crumbling over molars;
or glacial mountains thundering with a splash into the ocean;
or the popping of meat over a fire; edges browning, blackening until carbon laces the steak in gristle.
Crisp’s associations with brisk are prevalent.
A winter morning is both crisp, and brisk.
And the proximity of both words in tandem is utterly delicious.
Say it, you’ll see. Crisp. Brisk. Mmm.
The crisp briskness is a crisply aural sound;
the hard sucking of teeth in response to pain or in sympathy to it;
the crust of the snow that has melted and refrozen atop the powder;
the temporal slate that squirrels skitter over unimpeded by the snow’s depth.
My own boots, for a moment look like they will walk on water before crashing inward;
Snapping like a crisp chip, salt particles flinging into the air.