Per Se

I am about to call this a day. I wonder where that phrase originated. Elaine, get on that one. If it’s interesting, tell me about it. If it’s dull, I don’t care. I imagine a greasy old dude walking over to his kerosene lantern and saying, “This is a day.” And then he exchanges his overalls for a nighty and climbs into bed.

That’s not exactly how I will do it. I will just announce it on a blog. But the reason I would call it a day is that it is a day. A day that is done, but a day nonetheless. It is what it is called.

This brings me, albeit awkwardly, to things that are called the wrong thing. Or perhaps I should say that they are irresponsibly defined. A baker’s dozen. Why do people DO that? Why do I have to know that a Baker’s Dozen is 13? Why can’t that just be called 13 of something? A dozen is 12. A Baker’s Dozen should be 12 of something that belongs to that particular baker.

Really. I mean this.  This is hard for people like me. People who struggle to read the recipe right are certainly going to be challenged by the cutsie colloquialisms that belong to real cooks, don’t you think? The jargon is staggering.

And not that this is really related, but just walk alongside me for a second. A cake mix.  Wouldn’t you think that is just for cakes?  Is everybody supposed to know that you can use a yellow cake mix for yellow CUPcakes? There aren’t separate mixes for cupcakes?

Well, maybe that just seems really, REALLY obvious to every last person that is over 11 years old. Maybe even to people who are under 11. Or maybe to people who are over 11 but don’t speak a lick of English. Maybe I’m the only English-speaking, over-11 person in the free world that would question whether there’s such a thing as a dedicated cupcake mix.

The answer was as disconcerting as the fact that there are two kinds of dozen.

And so with that, I will call this a day.