Once again, it's time for the Defender of The Language to answer a few questions from devoted fans and Readers. Let's start it off from a fan of the Defender who signs herself Miss M. of Western Reserve,Ohio. She writes:
Next we will hear from a Reader in New York. Jake has not disclosed his city or town of residence, so let's pretend he's from Rensselaer! He emails:
Hello from New York! I know you often talk about sayings/idioms in your posts, so here's a question about that. One that really puzzles me is "The proof is in the pudding." Lots of people say that, but I saw one reference that said the real saying is, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." Can't they both technically be correct? Isn't the first one pretty much implying that the proof of whether or not the pudding is any good is whether or not you can eat it? Do you get what I mean? Thanks. I think you're great.
Defender, I absolutely love, love, love what you do! And I have to show you this. I was searching the Internet for a recipe for an appetizer to take in to work, and I came across this review. It is the absolute epitome of obliviousness when it comes to...well, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Here it is, word for word. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. (But I laughed. A whole lot. SORRY!)
"As always, Alton makes something EXACTLY the way I wanted it to taste! It tastes like the best spinach and artichoke dip I've ever had and have tried desperately to find it again in restaurants, homes, or cookbooks....AND I'VE FINALLY GOT IT! Am making it in a bread bowl to serve chilled at a HUGE outdoor party tomorrow...I know its going to be a HIT! I made mine exactly as he states (except I used jarred artichoke hearts but I made mine slightly less fat by using reduced fat sour cream, reduced fat cream cheese, and half and half regular and reduced fat mayo....you dont taste ANY difference or lack of something. EXCELLENT! Thank you Alton!"
Someone needs to know what the word "exactly" means, right? And are you still waiting for the other part of the parentheses? I know I am! Have fun with this one.
Dear, dear, Alicia. Really, you shouldn't have. I counted six basic mechanic/usage/grammar/punctuation errors alone, and that does not include the bothersome idea of cold spinach artichoke dip or the idea that she is substituting a cadre of low- or no-fat ingredients for this appetizer which is clearly supposed to be an indulgence. I also did not count errors in logic in this tally. I wish I could share your mirth; I honestly do, but this recipe review is a sterling example of what I must battle every single moment of every single day. I cannot rest. I cannot falter. I must defend The Language, for its marauders never cease.
Thanks to Miss M., Jake, and Alicia for their questions and Language Alert. For the Defender Fans and Readers, don't forget to submit your questions and/or Language Alerts to Nance here at the Dept. of Nance via email by using the clickable link in the sidebar.