October 6, 2007

Liberty toxifier.

Last night, we were asking the waitress about the dandelion salad. The music was loud.
"It's a liver detoxifier."


"A liver detoxifier."

"Oh. I thought you said a liberty toxifier. I wouldn't want that. I'm trying to keep my liberty pure."
And, frankly, I don't want my waitpersons mentioning my internal organs.


rhhardin said...

The root is a weak antibiotic against yeast infections.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Are you sure she wasn't saying libber detoxifier?

ron st.amant said...

I prefer my liberty straight with no chaser.

class-factotum said...

Doesn't anyone eat anything just because it tastes good anymore?

Luckyoldson said...

class-factotum said..."Doesn't anyone eat anything just because it tastes good anymore?"

Why would you think it doesn't taste good?

Because it's related to health?

If the restaurant is serving dandelions of any sort, I would assume its overall menu would be suited to those interested in good "health."

Say hello to Ronald.

Pogo said...

Liver detoxifier?

And here all this time I thought that one of the main purposes of the liver itself was to be a detoxifier. Weird.

What I really want from my food is some kind of deifier, so I can at last become the god-like being I was meant to be, and I can finally do some righteous smiting.

Sorry; that's the dandelions talking.

class-factotum said...

I said just because it tastes good, not because it tastes bad but is good for you. When did food become medicine? What's wrong with eating something only because you like it? Does there have to be a health benefit behind every calorie we consume?

Gedaliya said...


Is this really necessary? What's wrong with waitress?

Inspektor Friedrich said...

Is this really necessary? What's wrong with waitress?


"Waitress" is gender-specific, and so is not allowed in Newspeak.
We really have to stamp out all these antiquated and possibly illegal habits of mind.

It's been against the law for many years both in the US and EU to advertise for wait staff positions (or any others, for that matter) by gender.

When I was waiting tables for a few years back in the '80's to supplement my meager income on Wall St., the trendy term was "waitron," often shortened to "tron."  You'll find "waitron" in the linked Wikipedia article.

I would hear things like, "Oh, Heather is a tron over at So-And-So's."  Because English is not my first language, you can imagine what an education that was.

Ann Althouse said...

What's wrong with "waitress"? I used waitress in the first sentence. I switched to waitperson -- which I think is a funny word -- because I don't want male or female waiters talking about my internal organs.

class-factotum said...

There are no actresses any more, either. It is jarring to hear a woman refer to herself as an "actor." What's wrong with being an actress? What's wrong with being sex-specific*?

Are "bride" and "groom" going to be the next words to go? "Mother" and "father?" "Brother?" "Sister?"

(*Doesn't "gender" refer to nouns in German and Spanish?)

Revenant said...

What I really want from my food is some kind of deifier, so I can at last become the god-like being I was meant to be, and I can finally do some righteous smiting.

I hear Kobe beef is good for that.

Karl said...

Had a waitress at a steakhouse in Salt Lake City really sell me on the bone-in Kansas City Strip by telling me all about how a special enzyme that is created in the bone makes the steak extra tender when it's aged bone-in...at the time, I was pretty put off by the description of the biological processes going on in my soon-to-be meal.

So, I guess it cuts both ways.


rhhardin said...

Fantasy from Wm. Kerrigan : in some future time, a truck driver likes what he sees behind the counter, leans over, and asks, ``How long have you been a server, Honey?''

Inspektor Friedrich said...


Yes, most European languages classify nouns by gender.  In German we have three genders (no jokes yet please):  masculine, feminine, and neutral.  The definite articles are der, die, and das, e.g., der Mann; die Frau; das Mädchen ("the man"; "the woman"; "the girl").  Yes, girls are neutral until they attain a certain age or are married; only then do they become feminine.

<<Insert bad jokes here>>

Anyway, almost all European languages are more inflected than English, and retain this kind of information deep in their structure.  All nouns in German and most other European languages have a characteristic gender.  It's not just people as in the examples I gave.  The chair you're sitting on is masculine.  The cushion on it is neutral.  And the dishes on your masculine table are feminine.  Thus, creating a politically-correct, non-sexist gender-neutral Newspeak in German will overheat your brain and make your hair melt.  To take an example from the everyday business world, the abbreviation "Fr.," i.e., Frau, "woman" or "wife," used to mean "Mrs.," but now is used in a non-sexist way as the equivalent of "Ms."

The advantage is that, unlike English, German has retained a traditional written form.  No need to invent the semi-absurd "Ms."

The disadvantage is that German has retained a traditional written form.  There has been no obvious, written break with the past, just a change in societal mores and the meaning of an old abbreviation.

Are we having language fun yet?
But back to inflection:  Much of this unpleasantness has long been stripped from English, and more is being thrown away every day.  We are already halfway to Chinese, and it's only a matter of time before all English articles, inflection and pesky grammar go the way they have in Chinese.

Thus, we have your female "actors."

We can be thankful, though, that we haven't got "actrons" just yet.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *    *   *   *   *

Finally, about Professor Althouse's liver (not liberty) detoxification:

"Cleansing the liver" is an old French preoccupation.  If Professor Althouse were to spend enough time in France, I'm sure eventually she would be advised by a "waitperson" somewhere about the best way to take care of her liver.   The "waitperson" would be, however, a sommelier, and he (almost certain to be a "he") would no doubt advise her that a nice Médoc is just the thing.  If one is willing to pay the price, a first-growth Margaux is very nice.  There are some excellent Lascombes in a rather different style that are more affordable, and, I am told, will do wonders for the liver.  Please take no offense at the mention of your internal organs.  It's for your own good.

There are restaurants in France that specialize in macrobiotic brown rice, salads made of strange leaves, etc.  They are often marked with a green cross, however, just to let you know the food is "healthy."  The symbol bears an eerie resemblance to markings on World War I chemical munitions.  To the French, "health food" may be thought of as "mustard gas."  A 1994 Chateau Léoville-Barton makes an excellent antidote.

Et c'est bon pour votre foie, non?