Sunday, July 20, 2008

Y'all hiring?

This week's entry in the Everybody Needs an Editor category: We were over at Umm Czarina's the other night and had a chance to catch up on the local fishwrap (not the Ozymandian husk of a metro that lands in the driveway every morning; the ex-pyem that Czarina used to string for when she was but a little sorceress). It runs a column called "Dot-com Mom," whose topic this week was ...

Bowled over by Carolina 'barbecue'
(Desk, futurely, get your hands off that "quote" key or I will personally whap you upside the "head" with a "spatula")
Dear Mom: I was in North Carolina and had something they called "barbeque," but it didn't have tomatoes in it. We really liked it. Do you have a recipe?
Dear Carolina: There are two kinds of Carolina barbeque. One is called western and is tomato-based. The other is eastern and is vinegar-based. (Dear Mom: There are three. You're leaving out the mustard-based heresy served in Lesser Carolina. Regardless, you ought to settle on a single way to spell "barbecue.") ... Barbeque is often served with coleslaw hush puppies.

Whee! That's an interesting sort of WTF error, because, of course, barbecue isn't. "Often served with coleslaw hush puppies," I mean, because there are no such thing. There's coleslaw, which goes on the sandwich, and hush puppies, which go next to the fries and slightly uphill from the baked beans on the plate with the sandwich, but there ain't no such animal as "coleslaw hush puppies," as ane fule who didn't already know* could find out in a couple seconds of searching.

And after all, that's what editors do. They know stuff, and they look stuff up when they don't know it, and when they run across something as cognitively bizarre as coleslaw hush puppies, they ask dumb-sounding questions until Dot-com Mom explains exactly how her "Internet and cookbook" sources handle the oil-temp-vs.-cabbage-in-mayo thing.

I wouldn't throw the whole column out; the sauce recipes are a little picky but not out of line (no, you don't have to use brown sugar**). But let's be serious for a second here, Daily Tribune. You guys send a flyer around every few weeks suggesting we ought to subscribe. If y'all can't tell the difference between slaw and hush puppies, what particular claim do you have on my reading time?

* And didn't have the sort of Burger King-level curiosity to think: d00d! Deep-fried cabbage in mayo! That's got to suck.
** If you have to be kinky, cut with rice wine vinegar, sted white. Prosit!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? No red "BBQ" slaw?

7:42 AM, July 21, 2008  
Blogger Old Word Wolf said...

I think yu found the geographical origin of I haz cheezburger dot com. don;t even look. theyr jutz catz an ther nt newz.

Copee edirtrz unitz.!

7:57 PM, July 21, 2008  

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