[M.M.X.I.V. 135 / M.A.P.L.E. III-15] A Stained Soul Cringes At The Small Details In The Mirror Of Embarrassment

Congratulations!  You have read the longest title yet of any post on my blog thus far!

“Freemasons, confusion, return by sensation of concrete results…”

Interestingly, the song suits me quite well.  As it turns out, there is a story associated with this song from the first time I heard it, and later trying to find it again.  However, because I heard this song on The Jazz Show on WNUR back on August 15, 2011, I want to listen to it again on the radio.  (Furthermore, I cannot find a YouTube feed.  Although there is another way to find it, if you want to hear it on the radio, I plan on requesting it on this coming Tuesday (May 20) on WNUR’s Jazz Show, sometime between 10:00 and 11:00.

There was a “small detail” that has recently been itching my mind to try and find a time to write about, so this song is PERFECT!

There exist some words which elicit immediate reactions for many people.  Some of these are food-based words, and one that I have had discussions with other people before is a five-letter word.

VEGAN.

Although I am not anti-vegan, nor am I vegan myself, the word is certainly strong in a lot of peoples’ minds.

The reason why I thought about this, and why it’s perfect for this song name: where you put the descriptor in a food seems to change the interpretation.  Let me explain!

In my department, many people bring in food for others to enjoy.  My specialties are chili, Chex mix, and blueberry muffins and/or coffee cake.  Others bring in candies from events that they have attended, leftovers from colloquia, or miscellaneous other homemade goods.

One of my colleagues is vegan, and likes to bring in food.  One of the recent e-mails alerting us about the presence of this food said,

There are homemade vegan oatmeal-raisin cookies in the office kitchen.”

Come to think about it, “homemade” is also a buzzword, that oftentimes is seen in a positive manner.

Another way that the e-mail could have been written is, “There are homemade oatmeal-raisin cookies (vegan) in the office kitchen.”

For people who are used to eating food with animal-based products, they may be turned off by the word “vegan” being the leading descriptor.  When I see it as the first word, I generally tend to think of a food that has a recipe that has been adapted or modified for vegans.  For example, when I made the pies for Pi Day, one of them was a “vegan French silk pie” rather than a “French silk pie (vegan).” I am not particularly turned off by this leading descriptor, however.  There are many veganized recipes that taste just as good as their ordinary counterparts!

For example, earlier this week I made pizza, but because I do not like cheese very much, I would never use enough of it to make buying it worth it.  Therefore, homemade pizza has become a vegan experience for me.  As a substitute for cheese, I use spinach, and I found that the Yves vegan pepperoni slices to be quite tasty, particularly when I then season the tomato sauce with za’atar and crushed red peppers.

I have had discussions with others about the detail of where a buzzword is placed.  They seem to agree that for the general person, it is better if the buzzword is parenthetical, after the name of the food.  Basically, it’s a situation that people will judge a book by its cover.

The same thing seems to happen with certain desserts that are kosher-pareve, as leading off with “pareve” may leave a negative pre-conception as compared to a comparable dairy dessert.

Readers!  Are there any other buzzwords that you can think of that are equally effective in description, but less affective, when placed as a parenthetical adjective as opposed to a leading adjective?

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Today is the one-hundred and thirty-fifth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes nineteen weeks and two days.

.היום שלושים יום, שהם ארבעה שבועות ושני ימים לעומר

Today is the fifteenth day of the third round of M.A.P.L.E.  That makes two weeks and one day.

“Wages and penalties deny battleship with isolated lying…”

HUH?!?!

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8 thoughts on “[M.M.X.I.V. 135 / M.A.P.L.E. III-15] A Stained Soul Cringes At The Small Details In The Mirror Of Embarrassment

  1. Well-dissected train of thought there, Noah. And it is funny, how without further investigation, we do rail or rally, depending on one word. I suppose Madison Avenue has elevated the investigation to empire status, but we average bears do not often consider it, as you have today. Well done, man!

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    • Thanks for the comment, W.S! People indeed can overanalyze any word, particularly when it is a buzz-word like “vegan”.

      I wonder why a lot of buzz-words have to deal with food?

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      • I don’t think we’re as far removed from our Stone Age selves as we like to think. One groan from our stomach, and we stop listening to everything that does not involve solving our stomach’s needs.

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      • Indeed. But we might wonder, is this to justify our preoccupation with it? We like to state that we relish the social aspects, and use the food as a vehicle for the social interaction. But then, when the opposite is true, and we are lacking food, there is a ready abandonment of social norms…

        You can ride that idea in many directions, many miles each way!

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