Monday, January 23, 2006

In Which Anapestic Proposes the Elimination of Recipes

I need your help here, people.

Regular readers of my blog will remember (at least) three things:

1. I am a tax accountant, and my busiest time of year will soon be upon me.

2. I favor the adoption of and/or return to some British usages for American English. For example, I much prefer "whinging" to "whining," though I dislike it immensely when my children do either. Similarly, Americans need to use "brilliant" the way the Brits do.

3. I have only a passing acquaintance with sanity, but I am entirely harmless.

Let us assume, for the sake of argument, something that is not necessarily accurate; namely, that the current use of "recipe" as an American bastardization of the English "receipt." (There's nothing about the linguistic history on the wikipedia, and I can't be bothered to do any other research.) "Receipt" is a perfectly good word; wherefore need we "recipe"? We don't.

This linguistic redundancy and/or shift may seem like a small matter to you, and it may seem that I am tilting at solar panels, but I beg you to begin using "receipt" where you have heretofore used "recipe." It matters a great deal to me. I will, in fairly short order, be having dozens of conversations where I will be talking to clients about their receipts, and I would very much like to pick up a record of someone's cab fare from a business trip and say, "Well, fine, you went to Kansas City, but this is the receipt you brought me? Away with you, and don't come back until you have a receipt for ribs." I mean, really, I save some of these people a lot of money in taxes, and they should be thanking me by offering me something that I really value.

I know y'all won't let me down.


Anonymous j.edwards said...

I own The Gentleman's Companion: An Exotic Cookery Book (1939, Charles H. Baker, Jr.), which states:

WORDS to the WISE, No. I: On the Validity of spelling 'Recipe' 'Receipt.'
There are already enough pink ribbons tied around cookery terms without giving the French every credit for fair cookery routine. It may be Palesteen or Palestine; quinneen or quinine, but dwelling as we do in an English-speaking country it is only just to adopt the Anglicized formation of the word. We have a volume dated just after 1650 calling it 'receipt.' What was good enough for Charles I, is good enough for us!

8:22 PM  
Anonymous lindy said...

I don't know, I'm not sure I want to be uncertain whether I'm talking about food or money. I'm so easily confused as it is.

5:00 AM  
Blogger anapestic said...

Jonah: Hear! Hear!

Lindy: When there is sufficient confusion between food and money, you will be able to pay your taxes using foodstuffs as a currency. You, especially, should desire this conflation since you would be able to pay your 2005 and 2006 tax bill with a jar or two of your excellent preserves while lesser cooks will have to provide entire truckloads of Doritos.

6:16 AM  
Blogger goblinbox said...

I have never heard anyone use 'recipe' when they meant 'receipt.' People do this?

11:43 AM  

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