Tuesday, December 09, 2003

then again

Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable (via sonicpling)

Comments: then again

The modern orbs that fill shops and offend mine senses are neither vegetable or fruit, neither fish nor fowl.

Foul Frankenstein's monsters non deliciosa, high raddled in hue, pale beiged in taste, stiff starched in texture, full flatlined in perfume ... signifying nothing.

Where are the tomatoes of yesteryear? Those soft, yeilding, fecund, hot-flushed fleshpots. Where have all those tomatoes gone. Long time passing. Gone to backyards every one.

Posted by Sedgwick at December 9, 2003 03:51 PM

Insert 'n' in appropriate spot ... or not. Either one nor the other will do.

[slinks off stage left, silly goose-like]
Posted by Sedgwick at December 9, 2003 04:28 PM

Yes indeed the old tomatoes of seasons past have certainly gone west. Or nor nor west.
(always wanted to use that phrase - and hadn't even spotted the missing n.)
Guess all good Melburnians can only sigh and soberly plant their own on Cup Day.
Posted by boynton at December 9, 2003 04:41 PM

Good to have that confirmed. Zucchini's cheaper than apples at the moment - that should fill the spot as healthy lunchbox treat. And maybe a chilli for recess.

Sedgwick - the little 'uns are always yummy - tho' expensive (tho still best from backyard - absolutely best when they're surprises from the compost.

Now: tom-ar- to or tom-ay-to, B?
Posted by wen at December 9, 2003 04:41 PM

Ho -you have to ask ;)
tom ARRRR toe...
however tomargh-ay-oh-blecchhhh is quite acceptable too.
Posted by boynton at December 9, 2003 04:47 PM

Oh - we have that same tomato-planting rule here, Boynton. First year I tried to get around it by planting them in tubs & moving them inside at night. Didn't help. Frost in December got 'em all anyway. (this was back in the days when we only had two school-aged children & gardening was a possibility. Now we rely on those amazingly resistant self-seeders - probably a metaphor there somewhere)
Posted by wen at December 9, 2003 04:50 PM

Tomato pronunniation question I will leave to my olders, betters and wisers, HOWEVER ...

Is it just me but do others get bemused by our American idiot half cousins and their odd dealings with (or personal use of) the "herb".

"Urb", and emphatically "Urb". Strange faux francophilia? I don't think it's regional, think every A'merkin I've heard pronunns it so.

Genuine enquiry ... where DOES that come from?
Posted by Sedgwick at December 9, 2003 04:54 PM

Perhaps English speakers pronounced it thataways originally - & hence at American colonisation - it does come from Old French according to my oxford.
Posted by wen at December 9, 2003 05:00 PM

I thought you were heading that way, Sedgwick, with your talk of orbs.
Not sure myself. Is it that same 'uman weakness?

Perhaps some of the mericans who read here may weigh in.

btw my grandfather (a landscape gardener) was a Herb. Always an Herb, never erb
Posted by boynton at December 9, 2003 05:10 PM

Thoughters much. Irony, given the rapid and rapacious colonisation of the Engalish (sic) language by the A'merkins that they retain what sounds very much like an affectation.

My favorite affectation was by the Poms in that period of the deliberate dropping of the "g".
Posted by Sedgwick at December 9, 2003 05:17 PM

Oh - it is orbs. I thought Sedgwick was talking about 'norbs' meself. Or is that 'gnorbs'? No, can't be rite.
Posted by wen at December 9, 2003 07:47 PM

"In Modern English, h is usually pronounced in native English words such as happy and hot and, because of the influence of writing, in most words borrowed from French, such as haste and hostel. In a few other words borrowed from French the h has remained silent, as in honor, honest, hour, and heir. And in another small group of French loan words, including herb, humble, human, and humor, the h may or may not be pronounced depending on the dialect of English."

From 'ere:
Posted by wen at December 9, 2003 08:02 PM

As in that great american runner erb helliot..

"From Webster's Unabridged, 1953 edition:
> " The historical pronunciation is urb [short u sound], which still
> in the best usage in the United States, although hurbs is also used. In
> England hurb has been use since about 1800, an now apparently prevails in
> the best usage."

hence, for americans, the sentence goes "an herb".. mind you, we have "an historic occasion" and "an hotel"..

Even the wonderfully demented pedants at ask a linguist dont know..

so, not a lot of help from google. or should i say goigle.

ps - pom is most likely to come from pomegranate, which is rhyming slang for immigranate or immigrant... apparently the Americans went to Jimmy Grant the same way..
Posted by David at December 9, 2003 08:12 PM

ps - the tomarto is the Universe's way of telling us to get out into the garden and do something useful for ourselves.

us, we have a little flat..
Posted by David at December 9, 2003 08:13 PM

Sadly, no room at this inn for the endangered succulent tomarto. 'Twould mean fewer broad beans. (Hort: Manna of the Gods.)
Posted by Sedgwick at December 10, 2003 07:54 AM

well the miriam webster says:

But in fairness they do give two versions of both erb and tomato:

"Pronunciation: t&-'mA-(")tO; chiefly British, eastern New England, northeastern Virginia, and sometimes elsewhere in cultivated speech -'m[a']- or -'mä-; chiefly Northern -'ma-"

I'm not space challenged here but rather horticulturally so - (didn't get the family green thumb). Best just to get out there and cultivate my speech.

ps - to my ear, or earphone, the american 'culivated' tomarto still doesn't sound quite the same as ours, finishing with more d than t?
Posted by boynt'n at December 10, 2003 01:14 PM

It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.
Posted by Bradford Evonne Lack at February 28, 2004 01:05 AM

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