Thursday, August 24, 2006

I knew they'd call em biscuits somewhere

You know about biscuits versus cookies right?

I understand we have the Dutch immigrants on the US east coast to thank for the word 'cookies' being used to refer to sweetened baked thingies that are harder than bread but not quite hard enough to break your teeth.

If Americans use the word cookies for that comestible it leaves the word biscuit free for other uses. Thus the thing that elsewhere might be called a scone is a biscuit here. Most confusing first time around.

Let's not even consider crackers!

Being a bit of a stirrer (who me?? Never!) I make much of the nomenclature difference. I'll never use the word biscuit in the correct context. If Andrew wants to eat Oreos fine but I insist on calling them Oreo 'Biscuits'. And when Sonya serves beef stew accompanied by 'biscuits' I insist on calling them scones (especially when they're delicious with honey). My long suffering American family are used to me being 'difficult' about certain words and I'm sure that even Andrew has finally learned how to apply context to what I say.

Of course my stubbornness is matched by theirs. If I, an Australian, insist on calling a cookie a biscuit they, as Americans, insist on calling it a cookie. Which is as it should be. I'm hanging onto my culture; they're hanging onto theirs!

Tonight I watched Cause for Alarm[^]. Certainly not a great film but not all that bad either. It wouldn't rate much of a mention were it not for the scene where the little boy from up the street appears and asks for cookies. Loretta Young obliges him and we're treated to a close up of the packaging as he reaches in. And there, in glorious black and white is the label 'Assorted Biscuits!'.

Ah ha!! Gotcha!!!

Nothing would do but that I call Sonya up to see the scene. 'See? I knew that someone somewhere on this continent would call em biscuits!'.

It's the small victories! :-)

No comments: