Tuesday, May 06, 2008

We're so in touch we're going to hurl archaic terms back at you

Alternate Title: The Oregonian prints my letter, highly edited.
But first, let's have a little humor. Take a listen at this morning's conversation between AdRi and I:
"Brickback? Brokeback? Bareback?"
"No honey, brickbats. I don't know. I'll look it up."
My letter to FoodDay was printed in The Oregonian today, and that sentence there would be a link if they put the article on-line. It's actually 1/3 page with 3 other letters on the same topic, and an opening six paragraphs. But guess what kids? It's not online. Update: It's now online here. Here's the headline:
Grocery budget stories spark buzz; Articles about families trimming food budgets draw praise, brickbats.
I believe my letter falls into the brickbats category. Brickbats. The American Heritage Dictionary says:
  1. A piece, especially of brick, used as a weapon or missile.
  2. An unfavorable remark; a criticism.
Word History: The earliest sense of brickbat, first recorded in 1563, was "a piece of brick." Such pieces of brick have not infrequently been thrown at others in the hope of injuring them; hence, the figurative brickbats (first recorded in 1929) that critics hurl at performances they dislike. The appearance of bat as the second part of this compound is explained by the fact that the word bat, "war club, cudgel," developed in Middle English the sense "chunk, clod, wad," and in the 16th century came to be used specifically for a piece of brick that was unbroken on one end.

No response, but they did print the letter. And today I learned an archaic word rarely used in modern language, and one that stems from Middle English 16th century and as a theater critic reference. The Oregonian continues to prove how in touch they are with their readership.

The original letter and my blogpost can be found here.

Oh FoodDay. I'll still read you, and I'll still make your CousCous with Carrot and Cilantro salad you have on Page 3. Because I'm fickle that way. I just wish you were a little more in touch with the rest of us. Kisses.

Update: Special welcome to all of my new visitors from Slashfood!


Syd said...

I think my grandmother said brickbat once, but I had no clue what it meant.

Anonymous said...

re: "Plenty of you wondered why we didn't mention shopping at WinCo or Food-4-Less, stores with rock-bottom prices, as a savings strategy. Maybe because it seemed too obvious, but it's a good suggestion nonetheless."

Now, how snobby is that? Snobby! "You poor... you are so... so... OBVIOUS! You need to be more discreet. And well-shod. Like us."

No brickbats, but I wouldn't mind smacking 'em in the head with a shovel. Is that wrong to say on the Internet?

I also get a little pissy when people insist that organic is too expensive, farmers markets are a no-no, and don't mention gardens, community and other kinds. Because when I'm talking organic I'm talking "bulk section," gardens (your own or a neighbor's), farmers' markets. Yes, if you're buying produce out of season, out of region, fancy pastas and designer sauces, yes, you're going to spend too much. But there are plenty of WIC mamas who buy in bulk and buy organic when they can. I have gone through some extremely poor and destitute times in my life, including an entire year when I was clerking at the Oregonian and earning five (5) dollars per hour -- temp job, and they wanted to wait 'til my contract ran out until they brought me on staff. I learned to get extremely creative with the money and groceries, that year and several others. I feed people now whenever I can, as much as we can afford. Payback is not always a bitch ;)

This article -- and their response -- was disrespectful and paternalistic. But that's them.

Kathryn said...

Wacky Mommy sure gets herself in an uproar when she's recovering.

Yeah LeLo--I love it when you raise a ruckus!

Anonymous said...

RSG is right I am so frickin' surly over here. Then I had to go bitch about Thee O all over my blog, too. AS IF they deserve the attention.

Anonymous said...

Forsooth! I love the term brickbat!

MissKris said...

We gave up our subscription to The Oregonian years ago. I don't even bother to look at "This Week" 99% of the time. And what about the poor older citizens who come up to the check out lines with a couple bananas, a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, and not much else? How are those people managing to feed themselves? I think that segment of our country's various 'populations' bothers my conscience worse than any other.

Andy said...

Well, what do you an expect from a newspaper capable of publishing the headline, Energy Drinks Rattles School?

I mean, is our newspapers learning?