CrossCourse Open in app

My Kinda Lexicon!

You Say Tuh-MAY-toe and I Say Tu-MAH-toe

Ca Cathy M
点击右上角"更多"按钮,选择 即可进入app

Dear and Unsurpassingly Distinguished Old Friends,

I’ve been saving up this salutation* for a worthy occasion, and at last, this is it:

Your trip to Washington … participation in the National Math Festival … the March for Science … and soon after, fun in Belgium and Holland. Wow!

           *(It’s how Edith Wharton began her letters to Henry James.)

I was insufficiently caffeinated Thursday morning when I encountered the Hipster Ipsum generator and the exuberant email thread it provoked; I was clearly not enjoying those so-called words as much as you and Mary, Maggie and Will! But an hour and two shots of espresso later, I was ready to love language again … thanks to the farmers’ market and to tomatoes.

No, tomatoes are not here yet. Asparagus, yes. Shell peas, yes. Fava beans, yes. Garlic scapes, yes.


But there were tomato starts, dozens of varieties. And home-grown tomatoes made me think of you.

Each variety boasted a sign, and reading them brought me to a complete standstill. (Can you picture me, riveted to the pavement, seriously canted to the left by a 10-pound bag of oranges?) Such luscious photographs! But the descriptions, equal parts loving and ludicrous, were even better.

I thought they would make good airport (or even airplane) reading for you two travelers, hence this email. Might I suggest you read them aloud? For me, they come close to rivaling the excesses of tasting notes for wine or cheese or beer. But when it comes to tomatoes, all is forgiven. Pay special attention, please, to the Paul Robeson and the Mortgagelifter!






All of these will be new to me. How exciting is that?! Will any displace my all-time favorite, I wonder?


Travel safely, do your bit for math and science (and report back), and imagine much XOXOXOXOX from me.