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It’s as French as…

Each year many of my students are surprised, disappointed, or even shocked that things that we call “French” in English are not really French at all — or their “Frenchness” is questionable at best. I decided that it was time for me to do a blog post about some of these things. Prepare to be at least a little surprised.

Here are 12 expressions in English where we use the word “French” for things that are not French.

French toast
What we call “French toast” (pictured above) is a not typically eaten in France. Its French name is pain perdu (meaning “lost bread” because the bread gets lost in all the goodness of the coating, I guess). So if you go to France, don’t expect to find a pile of French toast waiting for you for breakfast. You can’t order it in restaurants. The recipe for “French toast” can be traced all the way back to 4th century Rome where it was made just as it is today.

French vanilla
Vanilla is a bean from a tropical plant not grown in France. “French vanilla” is not a type of vanilla, but rather a type of vanilla ice cream, one made using a French technique that starts with an eggy, custard base.

French dressing
Somehow during the early 20th century “French dressing” came to be the name for a sauce made pinkish-red by adding ketchup, but it’s totally American. The French usually just mix up a simple vinaigrette out of oil, vinegar, and mustard. I don’t blame people for deciding to call it “French dressing” — naming anything “French” does make it sound a lot better. 🙂
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The Signs Are Everywhere

A long-time favorite of readers of this blog is funny signs. Today's post is ten signs that have accumulated in my sign folder. Some funny signs are obviously planned or contrived, but others are deliciously accidental, totally due to human error.

I will post most of the signs without comment, letting the signs speak poorly for themselves.

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Making the Bland More Palletable

As a change from humorous posts, I thought I would share one of my recent home projects with you. We have a storage building behind our house. I really don't know what we would do without it since it houses so many things. But the side of the building facing the house is rather bland (read: blah!).

Becka has been looking for an old window to hang on that side of the building to make that space look a little better, something like what's in the picture below:
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Catching up a little

During the interval when I wasn't posting to my blog, I was still collecting funny odds and ends. Today's post is some of the funny pictures and comics that came my way. There's no real theme to it, other than being things I find humorous.

I'll start off with several things for you cat lovers/haters.

This next one is not so much about dogs as it is about a fail in the placement of a price tag.
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Moon Pies

Moon Pie 100<sup>th</sup> Anniversary

With all the hoopla about some event or other occurring on Monday, August 21 of this week, the news of the 100th anniversary of the Moon Pie has been almost totally eclipsed! (HT: my dear wife Becka)

I don't remember ever having heard of, let alone eating (!), a Moon Pie until I came to college in South Carolina. Sorry, but my life was woefully provincial in NW Ohio in the late 1960's. I also learned here that the best way to enjoy a Moon Pie is with RC Cola. The following link about an annual RC-Moon Pie celebration was added in a comment. I thought it should be added at this point in the post since some readers don't look at the comments.


Here are links to several simulated eclipses of the sun with Moon Pies.



The solar eclipse has brought me out of my blogging hibernation. More than a couple people have whined commented to me recently about how much they missed my posts, so I'm going to get back at it. 🙂 At this point, I don't know how frequently I will post, but I will try to let the "IV's" drip through every week or so.

In the comments section of this post, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts about Moon Pies — how much you love them, your favorite way to eat them, or maybe not. To be totally honest, I have ways of getting carbs and fat grams that I much prefer. 😀

Feel free to add your thoughts about the much-hyped eclipse. Here in Greenville, don't try to get a hotel room or possibly even to drive on Monday. On campus alone there are over 8,000 people registered to attend all the special events related to the eclipse.


"God makes good on His promises, so those who live in light of them live to good purpose." — Drew Conley

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t-shirt slogan — "Introverts. We’re here, we’re uncomfortable, and we want to go home."