Rosie often visits the lively online publication The Vocabula Review (www.vocabula.com, subscription, $5.95). One of the essays she has enjoyed there was "In a Word: Savoring a language's flavor" by Meg Bortin. Ms. Bortin gives examples of how "one way to the heart of a foreign culture is through its expressions involving foods." She then proceeds to give examples from Russian and, especially, French.
She points out, however, no food words or phrases from English. An error, it seems to me. We are as food conscious (in a different way) as the French. To prove this point, I asked two of Style's writers to give me some food words that we in America use. Within minutes I had a fine list on my desk.
Here are a few examples:
Bread and butter issues
Food for thought
Motherhood and apple pie
Have your cake and eat it too
She's a peach
Fingers in many pies
Like peas in a pod
There are many others one can think of. No wonder the papers are full of articles about how obese we Americans are. Our minds seem to be pretty firmly on food.
And speaking of food, one of Style's restaurant reviewers recently spoke of some meat as grisly. A sharp-eyed reader wrote asking whether the restaurant served "road kill." We hope not. The word, of course, should have been gristly, which, according to Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, means "cartilage, now esp. as found in meat." Such are the perils that face a copy editor.
Outrage of the week: A reader has expressed her disgust at a usage she heard on the radio. A reporter used the word(?) aggreance in place of agreement. No! No!
Let Rosie hear from you by mail, Style Weekly, 1707 Summit Ave. Richmond, Va. 23230; by telephone, (804) 358-0825; or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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