Sunday, January 14, 2007

Home made

What does “home made” mean?

When you bring a pie to someone’s house and say it’s “home made” should it be inferred that you made it in your kitchen?

And, does this imply that you made it from scratch? For example, if you bought the crust and just made the filling, can we still fairly say it’s “home made”?

What about when you see “home made” on a menu? In food industry language, isn’t “restaurant” the opposite of “home”? Meaning, if the pie was made “on the premises”, then that’s not home made, is it?

“….And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!”
“I don't know what you mean by ‘glory’” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant ‘there's a nice knock-down argument for you!’”
“But ‘glory’ doesn't mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’”, Alice objected.
“When I use a word”, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master -- that's all.”

Look: if the pie is good I don’t care where it came from. But I do think words should mean something. If we get in the habit of using them in the wrong places, we’ll follow Humpty Dumpty’s fate. And not even all the kings horses and all the kings men will be able to put things back together again.

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