brittle /ˈbrɪd(ə)l/ - /ˈbrɪt(ə)l/
adjective
hard but liable to break or shatter easily:
her bones became fragile and brittle.
• (of a sound, especially a person's voice) unpleasantly hard and sharp and showing signs of instability or nervousness:
a brittle laugh.
• (of a person or behavior) appearing aggressive or hard but unstable or nervous within:
her manner was artificially bright and brittle.
noun
a candy made from nuts and set melted sugar:
peanut brittle.

THESAURAUS
brittle /ˈbrɪd(ə)l/ - /ˈbrɪt(ə)l/
adjective
1
glass is a brittle material: BREAKABLE, fragile, delicate; splintery; formal frangible. ANTONYMS flexible, resilient.
2
a brittle laugh: HARSH, hard, sharp, grating. ANTONYMS soft.
3
a brittle young man: EDGY, anxious, unstable, high-strung, tense, excitable, jumpy, skittish, neurotic; informal uptight. ANTONYMS relaxed.

ORIGIN
late Middle English, ultimately of Germanic origin and related to Old English
brēotan ‘break up’.

asset /ˈæset/
noun
a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality:
quick reflexes were his chief asset | the school is an asset to the community.
• (usually assets) property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies:
growth in net assets | [as modifier] : debiting the asset account.
• (assets) military equipment, such as planes, ships, communications and radar installations, employed or targeted in military operations.

THESAURUS
asset /ˈæset/
noun
1
he sees his age as an asset: BENEFIT, advantage, blessing, good point, strong point, selling point, strength, forte, virtue, recommendation, attraction, resource, boon, merit, bonus, plus, pro. ANTONYMS liability, handicap.
2
(assets) the seizure of all their assets: PROPERTY, resources, estate, holdings, possessions, effects, goods, valuables, belongings, chattels. ANTONYMS liability.

ORIGIN
mid 16th century (in the plural in the sense ‘sufficient estate to allow discharge of a will’): from an Anglo-Norman French legal term, from Old French
asez ‘enough’, based on Latin ad ‘to’ + satis ‘enough’.