Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Word of the Day



1) A medicine whose effectiveness is unproved and whose ingredients are usually secret; a quack remedy.
2) A favored but often questionable remedy.

[From Latin nostrum (remedium), our (remedy), neuter of noster.]

Always cracks me up, the languages where words have gender that has nothing to do with any gender realities that we are now aware of. Reminds me of the old email forward about the computer's gender.
A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computadora"), because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is impossible to understand for everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval;

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine ("el computador"), because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem;

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer you could have gotten a better model.

So... Last evening my kids came over for my birthday. I made an experimental cake with xylitol instead of sugar. The cake was dry but I think that was cause I over baked it as I set the timer but then failed to hit the start button. I made chocolate (single layer) and then topped it with cream cheese and got sour cherries packed in water and made my own yummy cake topping with more of the xylitol. It was pretty awesome, despite being dry and the best part is, I am not sick this morning after eating it. I think I've finally found something I can eat, that my family won't turn up their noses at, that won't make me sick. It is too expensive to have cake every week but then, I'm not used to desserts. I'll be quite happy with something once in awhile. I guess I'll be making another cake in two weeks though cause that will be Kiddo's birthday. Maybe try an angel food cake with this stuff.

My mother-in-law wouldn't take any home with her after. She claimed that it is because she isn't supposed to eat sugar. Maybe that was the real reason and maybe it wasn't. She said it was good. My kids seemed to like it. I'm having another slice for my breakfast and I still like it.

Oh, and why did I chose nostrum for today's word? Well, the "xylitol" is a suspect substance, at least in my eyes. I can't eat sugar and don't trust the substitutes. I figure the jury is still out and personally don't want to volunteer to be the guinea pig. But once in awhile I want to be able to eat like other folk. My birthday was one of those occasions. So to paraphrase Marie A... "Let me eat cake" at least occasionally.

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