Drink of the Day

January 4, 2007

This one is mentioned in a lot of Hemmingway novels. It’s also quite good.

Unfortunately, in 4.5 years in New York city, I never found a bartender who knew how to make one, and only found Applejack (not the cereal) in a grand total of one store.  Surprisingly, Laird’s Applejack is widely available throughout Chicago. Unsurprisingly, most bartenders under the age of forty are either uninterested in the profession, limited by house drinks, or most often, stupid.

Jack Rose

2 oz. applejack

1/2 oz. lemon juice (a few drops of bitters may be to your liking, instead.)

1/4 oz. grenadine

writing teachers can never agree on taglines. some people want a lot of information, and others want nothing. what do i mean?

compare…

“where you off too?” josh shouted, looking at his friend.

“anywhere but school,” Marcello pouted.

“come to school,” josh snapped back, “there’s free vicodin today.”

with…

“where are you off to?” josh shouted to Marcello.

“anywhere but school.”

“come to school. there’s free vicodin today.”

ok, the point is, taglines can dramatically change the tone of a story. sometimes a lot of information is good, and sometimes the mood is ruined with description. ultimately, it’s up to the writer to decide how to express things.

here’s an example of a great tagline from a Washington Post article on House Republicans attempts to receive more minority rights:

Was the gentleman from North Carolina asking Democrats to do as he says, not as he did?

“Look, I’m a junior member,” young McHenry protested. “I’m not beholden to what former congresses did.”

Anne Kornblut of the New York Times asked McHenry if his complaint might come across as whining.

“I’m not whining,” he whined.

now, whether or not he was actually whining when he complained/introduced the legislation is moot. we know all we need to know. the Post has told us he whined in his response, and that therefore he is a whiner of the first rank with a history of whining.

the rest of the article is equally hilarious.

like the title says, i’d just started actually doing the work i’ve been pretending to do all day, when, as is the danger of reading, i stumbled upon our word of the day.

1984. Mintz. Hurban, they were not actualizing some ancient ideal that had lapsed into desuetude.

as you’ve probably guessed, our word of the day is desuetude. Mintz’s work fits the main dictionary definition of “desuetude”: “A discontinuance of the use or practice.” in other words, desuetude is a thousand dollar synonym for disuse. 

but the word also describes the process: “The passing into a state of disuse. ” This is the later definition, not appearing for two centuries after the original. since mintz was referring to the process, shouldn’t he have used this subdefinition? Should he have written, “actualizing the desuetude of the ancient ideal”?

it would seem that Mintz is actually using definition 2: “The condition or state into which anything falls when one ceases to use or practise it; the state of disuse.” This is a minor shade in difference, but arguably an important one. Rather than describing the discontinuance of the practice, it describes the current state of the practice.

Webster’s Law dictionary adds a new twist to the word: “a doctrine holding that a statute may be abrogated because of its long disuse.” This definition is derived from the latin etymology for desuetude. The law definition is interesting in that it stresses the former normative nature of the element falling into disuse. Mintz didn’t have this idea in mind, but its shadings are present in his usage.

mintz’s sentence is certainly correct, however it is possibly redundant as the word already emphasizes the process, and the slight shading gained by focusing on the state is insignificant.

what we’ve really learned is this: big words distract the reader, and really distract bloggers. that being said, i’m sure i’ll reuse it as my word of the day after the next time yesterday’s salad lapses into desuetude, or after failing school causes a desuetude of yesterday’s salad. 

      

We rule! …sort of.

January 4, 2007

We have made the big time… only, if you count the big time to be minor Internet buzz.

As of this past (holiday) week, we were listed as #38 on WordPress Blogs of the Day. This put us above Muschelschubserin, a pleasant blog about a woman who owns a pair of geckos, but below NederOpine, which is currently maintained by someone from the low countries who really doesn’t like Ahmadinejad.*

I think that this is a pretty encouraging sign. Apart from the fact that our blog’s salad days are being officially recognized, and that we clearly have a position the Neuer Weltauftrag of Central European blogs, it now clear that someone is actually reading this blog. In fact, we’ve scored 90 hits today, as of the time when I was typing the first sentence of this posting.

While some naysayers may cite the fact that a sizeable fraction of our readership comes from searches for “Brandy Taylor,” we here at Yesterday’s Salad pride ourselves upon the fact that this is not a shameless ploy in order to get hits. Were we to attempt such chicanery, we would surely discuss other such entertainers with greater name recognition, like Christy Canyon, Raven Riley, Cytherea, etc. — as you can see, the list could go on for a while. No, the mention of Ms. Taylor (nee Talore) is far too much of a niche selection to be used for pandering to search sites like Google or Technorati. And the discussion that this has entailed has been of a purely sociological nature, providing you with an intelligent analysis of the social phenomena surrounding the popular Internet site Wikipedia.**

Furthermore, the prior topic of discussion is only a facet of the interesting things that are going on at YS. Where else can you find cogent analysis of today’s moderately obscure but hard-hitting issues? There is no other blog on the internet where you can find information on public transportation, literary theory, The Wire, and antiquarian beverages, all without so much as clicking your mouse.

Given that we talk about the afforementioned obscurata, and not Ultimate Fighting, Iraq, flash-in-the-pan technologies, or even most current events, it’s even more impressive that we made it to WordPress’ Growing Blogs list. Instead, our loyal readership, which consists of friends who scan postings for mentions of themselves, scrabble fanatics scouring Dash’s OED word of the day, Isaac, and undead 1920’s bartenders, continues to grow. Excelsior!

*Note, YS readers: In keeping with past dailysalad convention, this person shall henceforth be referred to as Lord Voldemort.

**Please also note: Given the prodigious dimensions of Ms. Taylor, at least two contributors to YS (including this poster) have noted their aesthetic preference for women with small breasts.

Brandy TaylorNot Brandy Taylor

Fig 1. Brandy Taylor Fig 2. Young woman with smaller breasts