Monday, July 27, 2020

When à la mode was all the rage!

When I was a ten-year-old hillbilly in the Arkansas Ozarks, we hillbillies generally didn't know French and thought that à la mode literally meant "with ice cream" because ordering a slice of apple pie à la mode got you a slice of apple pie with ice cream, so when I wanted ice cream alone, I would order, "Just à la mode," and because everybody was as ignorant as I was, I got what I wanted, namely, ice cream.

Until some of us learned, somehow, that à la mode meant "according to the fashion." In other words, whatever is fashionable.

I afterwards had to remind myself of the French expression's true meaning, so I would go around saying: "Remember the à la mode!"

Which sounded somehow vaguely nationalist and even anti-Mexican . . .


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