or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Yesterday on the reliably amusing Consumerist there was a piece about a commercial brand of egg nog which boasted about its "Traditional Recipe":

Our splendid Bareman's American Traditional Recipe Egg Nog is made from all natural ingredients, including eggs and fresh cream. Just exactly like it was made, back when Grandfather started our dairy business in 1898.

Well, that there's some American Traditional Bad Writin'.

It's also a parcel of lies, because here are the ingredients:

Milk, high fructose corn syrup, cream, egg nog base (spray dried egg yolks, grade A whey powder, corn starch, natural & artificial flavors, sugar, guar gum, salt, nutmeg, carrageenan, annatto & tumeric (for color)), grade A whey powder, and nonfat dried milk.

Now, what's wrong with that list? The inclusion of things like spray dried egg yolks, artificial flavors, guar gum, and high fructose corn syrup, of course, because not only can they not really be called "all natural ingredients", they didn't even exist in Grandfather's day, so "just exactly" is patently untrue. But what caught my eye was "tumeric", because it's wrong.

It is spelled, and pronounced, "turmeric". (No tumors anywhere.) That first "-r-" has been there since the word's beginning, in Middle English, where it was rendered "turmeryte" (suggests the word "temerity", doesn't it?), apparently from an old French word, "terremérite", which meant "saffron", because turmeric is sometimes used to replace the far costlier saffron.


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