Evidence that Fran can even turn a cooking disaster into a linguistic opportunity
You've never heard of Florenjacks/Flapentines? Well, where have you been?
Forgive me. I am dissembling and making you feel bad about yourself for being out of the Florenjack/Flapentine loop. You were thinking, I know, 'How come I'm always last to hear about the latest baking fashions? Whaddya mean, no one cooks Madeira Sponges any more?'
They call it FOMO, don't they? Fear Of Missing Out.
Having brought up the FOMO issue, before I tell you about my duality biscuits, I have a raging desire to tell you the difference between acronyms and initalisms.
It wasn't until I trained to teach English that I discovered there was a difference, in the same way as, it wasn't until I trained to teach English that I discovered that a teacher's bladder can hold fifty-three litres of liquid and that a Hard Stare was Paddington Bear's gift to the teaching profession.
Words like FOMO, AIDS, LASER, NATO and SCUBA are called acronyms because they become words in themselves. You don't sound out each initial, although when the acronym is first coined, you might do. Sometimes, with acronyms, you don't even know you're using one. I didn't know that SCUBA stood for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, for instance, not that I had undergone any FOMO about this, and even now I know, I don't feel my life enriched to any great extent. As far as conversation starters at parties go, I'd imagine, 'Do you know what SCUBA stands for?' might send your fellow guest running for the whiskey table.
That's acronyms for you, anyway.
But, when people say O.M.G or T.T.F.N (as Terry Wogan used to at the end of his radio shows) or F.B.I or the U.N or the B.B.C, this is called an initialism because you pronounce each initial separately.
I guess these initialisms don't turn into acronyms very easily. 'Omger, omger, did you see that programme about the effbih on the bubbercuh?' 'No, sorry - anyway, got to go. Tuhtuh-fer-un!'
Another linguistic concept is called blending - you might know blended words as portmanteau words, where you take two existing words and run them together to make a new one. Like, 'brunch' or 'Brexit' or 'Brangelina' for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, although that's a bit awkward, with rumours flying around about their marriage. There may be unblending ahead/But while there's moonlight, and music, and love and romance/Let's face the music and make biscuits.
*seamless, expertly-handled linguistic link back to biscuit story*
You won't have heard of Florenjacks or Flapentines - my new blended names for biscuits - because I invented them yesterday by using a recipe for Florentines but misreading an instruction saying ADD ONE TABLESPOON OF FLOUR as ADD FOUR OUNCES OF FLOUR.
Easy mistake, obviously ...
... if you're two, or wearing a blindfold, or as dead as stone.
I realised my error only after I'd ...
a) wondered why the mixture was so dry and crumbly in the pan
b) added syrup
c) added more butter
d) added more syrup
e) and butter
f) struggled to 'roll the mixture into round balls' because bits of nut kept landing on my feet
g) put the 'balls' on the baking tray
h) patted them into shape
i) re-shaped them, more firmly
j) re-shaped them again while damning them to hell and back
k) slammed them in the oven
At that point, I went back to the recipe and realised that what I had in the oven were not Florentines, but Something Else, as yet Unnamed.
I think Victor Frankenstein felt the same as he watched the monster he thought would be a beautiful new human being respond to the surge of electricity, sit up, like a giant misshapen gargoyle with poor seam work, and say, 'DADDY!'
|Unfortunately, the four ounces of flour in the biscuit recipe|
had made much more difference that Fran could ever have anticipated
At least I didn't reject my creations like Victor did. They're not Florentines. They're not like anything I've cooked before. Or eaten before. They're an odd mix of Florentine, flapjack, digestive biscuit, rock bun, and despair at failure. Bits are still falling off them, like Kamikaze crumbs, leaping off the edges of the biscuits, and who can blame them?
But they're edible.
And they gave me an opportunity to tell you the difference between acronyms and initalisms, which isn't an opportunity that comes my way often.
For which you are, no doubt, grateful.
Addendum: While you're sitting there feeling grateful, here's a picture of the Flapentines to look at - River's comment below reminded me that I'd been remiss in not posting one before ...