Wednesday, February 3, 2010

USDA reconsiders ban on haggis

800px-Scotland_HaggisOfficials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are examining the decades-old ban on haggis, Scotland's national dish. For those of you not in the know, here's Wikipedia's description: "Haggis is a dish containing sheep's 'pluck' (heartliver and lungs), minced with onionoatmealsuetspices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours." The ban was enacted during a breakout of Mad Cow Disease in the late '80s.

I'm pleading the gastronomic Fifth on this -- I resumed my vegetarian diet over a year ago -- but in all seriousness, I would happily gobble down some Scottish haggis over a slab of beef procured from a midwestern feedlot.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Keep calm and carry on. Or not.

keep_calm_carry_onI've mentioned my love of the Keep Calm and Carry On posters in the past and have kept my eyes open for the spoofs now that the posters have become ubiquitous. Some of my new favorites:


Keep calm and rock on $25.99.


Now Panic and Freak Out $15

More parodies here. I want the Now Panic and Freak Out on a coffee mug!

My favorite Brit words

While I love a good British accent, I'm more enthralled with the way Brits construct their sentences, the words they use. Even if you Americanize the spelling of  a paragraph written by a Brit writer (such as changing "Americanise" to "Americanize") there's a certain rhythm and cadence to their sentences that sound nothing like American English.

But let's talk about Brit words or expressions, words I can't use in my everyday American speech lest I sound like a poseur. Here are some of my favorites in no particular order:

Fancy. Verb made popular by Austin Powers. As in "Fancy a shag?"

Stroppy. Ill-tempered.

Gobsmacked. Flabbergasted. I admit, I use this word sometimes.

Brilliant. Used in assent, as in "Brilliant! I'll bring the wine."

Wanker. So much nicer than dickhead. I get to say wanker a lot, though, when I'm talking to my Australian friend Deb. Wanker is popular Down Under.

Barrister. So much nicer than lawyer or attorney. Think John Cleese in A Fish Called Wanda.

Cheeky. Means impertinent. Often used around children.

Petrol. The gas station gone exotic.

Jolly. Who can resist, "He's a jolly fellow, all right."

What are your favorite Brit words? Add them to the comments section below.