Right then, off we go. It’s been a couple of weeks but I’m ready again if you are… Welcome to a new topic I’ll continue to tap every now and then, in between my other random missives: ugly words or phrases that are to the English language what John Terry is to football – a nuisance we could all do without. For this first go-around, I’ll do us all a favour and start off somewhat gently…
Wanted for Crimes Against the Language:
The phrase “table-scape” is, I admit, neither pervasive nor particularly hateful. It is ‘merely’ unpleasant, vainglorious, and deathly dull.
If you are fortunate enough not to have encountered this despicable term before, let me briefly appraise you of its rancid character – by presenting it to you visually:
A rotten phrase, then, to describe a rotten thing: the ostentatious decorating of a table, off of which (presumably) food is later to be eaten. “Look at me,” it screams, “I’m so fucking pretentious, I had to invent a whole new word to describe the full, tawdry extent of my pretentiousness.”
Table-scape. Have three syllables ever been so thoroughly objectionable before? So preening, so precious, so haughty, so monumentally full of flimflam and puff. From where I’m sitting (on the couch, as it happens) they damn the worst excesses of the idle, rich, Western world with precision enough to give me chills. Consider: how can anyone utter table-scape without also belittling the many millions in this world for whom food is sustenance long before it’s pleasure. Well, the deadbeats who do use the phrase might have their gold plates and their pumpkin-scented candles and their napkins made of silk – but what price affluence when you can’t see past the end of your own nose?
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with ‘making nice.’ Or, for that matter, being a good host… But let us please draw the line at that. Trying to impress others by laying a table creatively simply serves to mark you as a vapid possessor of rampant self-importance. And one hell of an irritating arse. Like, for example:
Sandra Lee: even including the dread Rachel Ray, the Food Network’s one and only 100% unwatchable host. Truly, if this woman has a single creative bone in her body, I’ll pull out half of mine and use them to bludgeon the rest.
Stick a fork in me, I’m done. “Table-scape” is a crime against the English language, and anyone caught using it should have their tongue removed with an extra sharp lemon zester.