madbaker: (letter-man)
Dear Patisserie Philippe: a croissant is crescent-shaped. Hence the name. A cylinder of dough with a stick of chocolate in it is a "pain au chocolat". Not a chocolate croissant.

madbaker: (oxford comma)
Dear cafe next door: "Artisan" is not an adjective. "Artisanal" is. If you are advertising "Artisan sandwiches", they should contain real artisans.

madbaker: (letter-man)
It's not an "ATM Machine". Nor is it a "PIN number". You're a reasonably accomplished author with professional editors and everything; get it right.

madbaker: (dyslexic zombie)
Calvary is a hill outside Jerusalem. It cannot ride to someone's rescue.

madbaker: (oxford comma)
Proposed: People who habitually use texting abbreviations in other forms of communication are hereby banned from said forms. This ban shall be revoked when/if the offender demonstrates a habitually correct usage of vowels and grammar.

Dammit.

Apr. 17th, 2012 08:37 am
madbaker: (charcuterie)
I had a reluctant epiphany: I should convert all my sausage recipes to grams. That way everything is listed as a percent of the base meat, making scaling incredibly easy.

But damn, that's going to be an annoying thing to do. The meats are currently listed in pounds and most of the spices are standard US volumes.

madbaker: (fud)
We went to a lovely cocktail party at [livejournal.com profile] etaine_pommier's yesterday. It wasn't a traditional cocktail party: she has gone completely insane with making her own bitters, so the excuse was to try the 15 or 20 different types she's made. I have hesitated to make anything beyond the Buddha's Hand bitters, because I would have the same over-reaction. We are evil twins, after all.

Very interesting variety, some of which worked better than others. We tried all of them in unflavored fizzy water and then had one cocktail each (about the right amount for not being hung over today). Also corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes that she made. We brought some of the latest cured meats; the Bologna fish wasn't ready yet but was still quite good. The nduja will benefit from more hanging but was fabulous. (Mmm, organ meat and chiles.)

Today was brunch with the wife: homemade sourdough English muffins, pencil-thin asparagus, poached eggses, and foie gras from 4505 Meats. And lambrusco, because we needed bubbly booze with it all. Spectacular and I'm not eating anything else until dinner.

What I'm reading: Matthew Hughes, The Damned Busters

madbaker: (letter-man)
I've been listening to an audio book read by the author. He has a decent voice, although his inexperience as an author shows in his overuse of "he said" and such. More annoyingly to me is his mispronunciation of certain words - "exPERTly" is one that is constantly jarring.

I had my share of words that I mispronounced because I got much of my vocabulary from reading. "awry" is one that I pronounced "AW-REE" for years. But I wasn't paid for it.

madbaker: (Saluminati)
I had an idea last night. I have a fairly large collection of charcuterie recipes from Apicius (4th to 5th c.) to Markham (1615). It seems to me that, taking a page from [livejournal.com profile] hrj, a statistical analysis of the ingredients might be interesting. Or at least have some value, if you (understandably) don't find that of interest.

Off I go... I loves me some pivot tables. So far my sortable fields are the work, time, recipe name, type (e.g. sausage, cured meat), ingredients, and treatment (e.g. ingredient in another dish, smoked, boiled).

madbaker: (oxford comma)
I may tweak one of my lines in this year's play slightly - the way the translation was done, it always comes out from my brain in a Yiddish accent. If I change "maybe" to "perhaps" it will probably solve the issue. I don't think Yiddishizing the line is really called for onstage.

This got me remembering a sequence from Leo Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish that I've always liked. It demonstrates how tone and emphasis are used to completely change the meaning of the same sentence:
1. I should buy two tickets for her concert? --meaning:, "After what she did to me?"
2. I should buy two tickets for her concert? --meaning: "What, you're giving me a lesson in ethics?"
3. I should buy two tickets for her concert? --meaning: I wouldn't go even if she were giving out free passes!
4. I should buy two tickets for her concert? --meaning: I'm having enough trouble deciding whether it's worth one.
5. I should buy two tickets for her concert? --She should be giving out free passes, or the hall will be empty.
6. I should buy two tickets for her concert? --Did she buy tickets to our daughter's recital?
7. I should buy two tickets for her concert? --You mean, they call what she does a "concert"?
A thumb in the eye to those who say Asian languages are the only ones that are tonal.

madbaker: (letter-man)
I forgot to post on and about Guy Fawkes Day as I usually do. I think the term for this is a Fawkes Pas.

madbaker: (oxford comma)
I got a mailer invitation to Beta Gamma Sigma - "Recognizing the outstanding academic achievements of students enrolled in business programs." They invite the top 20%, which is not exactly exclusive. (Don't get me wrong: I would rather be in the top 20%. I may give them my $70 for the privilege of putting it on my resume.)

However, their explanation of the Greek letters is, well...
"Sigma: Sigma signifies earnestness. Earnestness is enthusiasm measured by acheivement, disciplined by reason..."

And they spell "achievement" correctly later on in the paragraph.

What I'm reading: Elizabeth Bear, Dust

madbaker: (letter-man)
2010 is the start of a new year. It is not the start of a new decade. Nor was 2000 the start of a new millennium. You start a new cycle with year 1, not year 0.

To pre-empt the "If that's how people use it, it's correct" argument, I offer this riddle:
Q: "How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?"
A: "Four. Calling a tail a leg does not make it one."
What I'm reading: Ken Scholes, Canticle

madbaker: (letter-man)
Eeeevil timesuck. (Loud, beware)
Although I like Bookworm's non-timed play. Yes, I am a word geek. Why do you ask?

What I'm reading: Joe Abercrombie, Best Served Cold

madbaker: (life is good)
Estimate, obviously. Although there are some of you (cough [livejournal.com profile] hrj) who might have the exact measurements already.
...yes, my OCD made me go measure our shelves.

[Poll #1397694]
madbaker: (oxford comma)
Eventually you will need to memorize PINNNNNNNNNs, because every time it gets abbreviated popular usage will add "number" to it. We're only at the PINN stage with our ATMMs, but I'm sure that'll change in a couple years.

madbaker: (brains!)
I don't really have OCD in a clinical sense, of course. I just tend towards anal-retentiveness.
As far back as I can remember, I have always been a good speller. (Until I screwed myself up by going to France for a year and thinking/writing in a different language, anyway.) Typos generally leap out of text at me and grab me by the throat.

When my ARC of Mortal Coils arrived and I spotted a typo, I e-mailed the author asking if he wanted a list - or if it was too late and it would just be annoying. He said, yeah sure, send 'em along.

I sent him an annotated list of the 25 or so typos I found in the 600-page book, with page references and my assumed corrections. I'm fairly certain it was considerably more complete than he was expecting.

His response: "I can't tell you how much I appreciate this! I remember catching some of these in the final edit pass...but some look new. I don't have the final version in front of me, so I just sent them all along to my editor at TOR to double check. Again--this was a great help as I especially hate letting any typos get into the finished product.

"Shoot me an email early next year and, if you want, I'll get an ARC of the sequel out to you for all the assistance."

A free, signed, advance copy of the next book for noting down the things I'd notice anyway? Don't throw me in that briar patch!

madbaker: (letter-man)
A friend pointed me at the OEDILF - "The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form."

Just... wow. One of the better submissions I found in a couple minutes:
Cellini, Benvenuto by SheilaB (Sheila B. Blume)
He was born in the land of linguine—
His talents prodigious, not teeny—
A sculptor and writer,
And also a fighter,
His name's Benvenuto Cellini.

Benvenuto Cellini (ben-vuh-NOO-toh chuh-LEE-nee) (1500–1571) was an Italian Renaissance goldsmith, painter, sculptor, soldier, writer, musician and hell-raiser.

Yeah. I could so waste a lot of time there, browsing and composing.
madbaker: (letter-man)
The expression of indifference or boredom has gained a place in the Collins English Dictionary after generating a surprising amount of enthusiasm among lexicographers.

Publisher HarperCollins announced Monday the word had been chosen from terms suggested by the public for inclusion in the dictionary's 30th anniversary edition, to be published next year.

The origins of "meh" are murky, but the term grew in popularity after being used in a 2001 episode of "The Simpsons" in which Homer suggests a day trip to his children Bart and Lisa.

"They both just reply 'meh' and keep watching TV," said Cormac McKeown, head of content at Collins Dictionaries.

The dictionary defines "meh" as an expression of indifference or boredom, or an adjective meaning mediocre or boring. Examples given by the dictionary include "the Canadian election was so meh."

The dictionary's compilers said the word originated in North America, spread through the Internet and was now entering British spoken English.

"This is a new interjection from the U.S. that seems to have inveigled its way into common speech over here," McKeown said. "Internet forums and e-mail are playing a big part in formalizing the spellings of vocal interjections like these. A couple of other examples would be 'hmm' and 'heh.'

"Meh" was selected by Collins after it asked people to submit words they use in conversation that are not in the dictionary. Other suggestions included jargonaut, a fan of jargon; frenemy, an enemy disguised as a friend; and huggles, a hybrid of hugs and snuggles.

madbaker: (letter-man)
Nice dinner last night with my dad, who is in town for a Masonic thingy. Unfortunately between my classes and the wife getting emergency training yesterday, we didn't have much time to spend with him. We went to a local Fronch bistro (Chez Papa). The lamb daube was quite good.

I was amused/annoyed by the menu touting their "prefixe" special. Yes, it's pronounced that way, but it's spelled "prix fixe."

You're a Fronch restaurant, you're supposed to know that.

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