Sunday, March 24, 2013

EVOO Oh Good Grief

If you watch cooking shows as much as I do, a strange phenomenon begins to emerge. On the other hand, it may not be that strange – it may just be a symptom of our daily conversation.

Watching Rachel Ray, one is constantly bombarded by her abbreviated phrase: “EVOO.” That’s E-V-O-O, and it’s her way of saying “Extra Virgin Olive Oil.”

Then there’s Ann Burrelle with her now-famous “BTB RTS,” which she intends to mean “Bring To Boil, Reduce To Simmer.”
How about Bobby Flay? I heard him say “S and P” several times over the years. That, of course, means “Salt and Pepper,” something even a kindergartener can figure out.
Nothing wrong with abbreviating; it’s like the American habit of giving everything nicknames. Heck, we even do it to names, often nicknaming someone with their first- and middle-name initials (e.g., J.D. Salinger, J.R.R. Tolkein, J.K. Rowling).
So where is this going? Hold on, I’m almost there.
And here we are: What’s the use of using initials if you’re going to repeat the unabbreviated phrase right afterwards? For example, “A few drops of EVOO – extra virgin olive oil,” or “Turn the heat up and BTB RTS, bring to boil and reduce to simmer,” and “Season with S and P … salt and pepper.”
All that does is drive home the point that the celebrity chefs think we’re stupid. Are we? I ask, are we?
Abbreviation redundancy, indeed.

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