Why don’t we just call it “sauce”?

So, turns out I’ve been saying the word “ragoût” wrong for my entire life, but that’s fine because I’ve never actually said the word out loud until I had to help Hailey practice a million spelling words, and then Victor was like “Seriously?  Did you just say ‘rag out‘?  That’s not even a word.  It’s pronounced “ragú“.  Which seems insane, because I was like “No, that’s a brand-name” but turns out that “ragú” may have come from “ragoût” and they’re pronounced the same, which is just intentionally confusing if you ask me.

Anyway, today Hailey competed in her second spelling bee and she did fantastic. She came in 4th, and by round 20 she was the youngest person left and the last girl standing.  It was farther than I’d have gotten and we were very proud.

That's my kid.  She's a bad-ass.
That’s my kid. She’s a bad-ass.

The mom sitting next to me patted my arm consolingly when Hailey left the stage but I shrugged and said, “Meh.  It’s not her fault she didn’t know the word.  Frankly, I blame drugs.”  She looked a little uncomfortable, but in my defense, the word Hailey missed was “hydroponic” and I only know that word because of pot.  Maybe if pot was legalized in Texas she’d be exposed to it more and would have won.  After all, exposure to illegal drugs can limit your learning potential, but apparently so can a lack of exposure to illegal drugs.

I guess my point is that I blame myself.  And drugs.  And Texas.

PS.  Victor thinks it’s weird that weed is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear “hydroponic” so I asked twitter, and (aside from several people venturing “Water pony?”) most everyone else is saying “Pot.  Please share.”  Also, quite a few people are saying “DISNEYLAND” for some reason.  I suspect that means they’re high already.  Or very, very sheltered.  Much like my daughter, who now wants a water pony.

PPS.  I was just looking up “ragout” and wikipedia gives two recipes.  One starts with “Take a quantity of pig’s ears and boil one half in wine and the other water.”  The other recipe includes lamb’s testicles and boiled cock combs. It ends with the instruction: “Use it when called for.”  Who is purposely calling for this?  

159 thoughts on “Why don’t we just call it “sauce”?

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Disney World actually has a ride through hydroponic gardens at EPCOT. They’re probably growing pot there. Why else would all those characters be so damn happy?

  2. My first spelling bee in first grade: The nun gave me the word “UP” and I sat down and pretended I didn’t know it. I thought it would be too rude (and maybe a sin) to say “You Pee” to a nun.

  3. Disney references: If you go to Disney World, in EPCOT there’s a hokey/educational ride in “The Land” and they have all kinds of alternative growing methods highlighted there… including hydroponics. Which sadly have nothing to do with ponies.

  4. I always called it rag out as well, until I saw Ratatouille. Education by a talking rat and a kids movie – excellent! Hayley is just lovely by the way, she really …shines… x

  5. Hydroponic is definitely pot. But it’s also lettuce. I’ve been buying hydroponic lettuce forever. Unless they’re selling pot in grocery stores under the guise of lettuce. Which, actually, might explain a lot.
    And being French and all? Ragout is simply stew…

  6. Um… of course I forgot half my sentence. … those grocery stores are in Quebec. I dunno about the rest of the universe. Maybe we’re the only ones who have hydroponic “lettuce” in grocery stores. ‘Cause we’re all open minded and shit, being French and all.

  7. I am never buying Ragu again!

    (Yeah. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to eat someone’s cock comb. At least they’re boiling it first. ~ Jenny)

  8. Haha! There’s a hydroponics display on one of the “rides” at Epcot. They don’t use any dirt to grow tomatoes – just water and some other stuff, I guess. I never really knew how to pronounce ragout either. I just avoided the word.

  9. I just snorted my coffee out my nose because of your “ragoût”. Thanks for the laugh. I’ve definitely had a few words like that. Also some words that I know I’m saying wrong but refuse to change, like “colonel”. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think it could ever look like a “kernel” to me. Congrats to your daughter on her bee!!

  10. I missed rhinoceros in 3rd grade district spelling bee and now it is the one word I will always be able to spell, forever and ever, so you may as well plan now for her to grow up to be a hydroponic pot farmer.

  11. In your last sentence you ask, “Who is purposely calling for this?” regarding the lamb’s testicles and boiled cock combs. I think the other questions that need to be asked are: “Who has these ingredients on hand?” and “Where do you even BUY these ingredients?” Unless you you live in a Hans Christian Andersen world and you have a village witch who keeps these supplies on hand. (Full disclosure– I would go visit that witch.)

  12. “Ragù” is Italian (as in ragù Bolognese), whereas “ragoût” is French. They both basically mean “meat sauce” though 🙂

    And yes, hydroponics == weed. I mean, the stuff is officially sold for growing tomatoes, but I’ve never met anyone who actually uses it for that.

  13. I always thought ragout and ragu were separate kinds of sauce, just like I thought epitome was two separate words. (When I read it, my brain-head heard eh-pih-TOME. When I heard eh-pih-toh-me in conversation, it never occurred to me it could be the same word.)

  14. My husband has been searching for a great ragout recipe for years and they never turn out “saucy enough”. I told him we should just stick with our already great marinara and add carrots, celery, and meat…voila! ragout.

  15. I no longer have a hankering for ragout, and in 7th grade my first word in the spelling bee was penalty…see I spelled it correctly there…but looking out at all my friends and family’s expectant faces I said p-e-n-e (collective sigh from the crowd) lty…..I knew I blew it..hydroponic would have made me cry, so good on Hailey!

  16. The first thing that popped into my head for hydroponic was vegetables. But now it will be pot and/or water pony. Who wouldn’t want one of those? And great job, bad-ass Hailey.

  17. I think tomatoes, but I agree with your rationale, that pot does make better spellers. I’m not sure why, but I like how that sounds.

    And congrats Hailey! I’m impressed, but then again, I’m someone who misspelled the word forty for more than half her life, so take it for what it’s worth.

  18. Truthfully, those ragout recipes sound like something I’d have thought you’re already familiar with. 🙂

    (I’ve never even combs or testicles, but my father does eat a LOT of pig’s feet. ~ Jenny)

  19. I guess I’m the only one old enough and nerdy enough to have thought “Lost in Space!” when I saw the word “hydroponics.” Watched that show when I was a kid and that’s how they grew their food.

  20. I immediately thought tomatoes but then again, I am the sheltered little soul who complimented some of my then boyfriend’s frat brothers on their gorgeous, lush plants (yes, pot plants–no I didn’t know it) and told them I was very jealous of their green thumbs. Yeah, I missed the looks of staggering disbelief too. And that boyfriend still married me, knowing what a complete idiot I am. So clearly pot is never first on my list of thoughts because it wasn’t allowed anywhere near my ivory tower. 😉

  21. My daughter got knocked out of a spelling bee once because of the word VICE. She thought they meant the other one… VISE.

  22. I always think of tomatoes when hearing the word hydroponic. I also mispronounced hyperbole as hyper-bowl until last year. I’m 51. I’m still embarrassed by that fact.

  23. When I was in grade school I was chosen as 1 of 3 representatives to go to a city-wide spelling bee. I went out after a few rounds because of the word “ebullient.” I had never seen the word and thought it started with an “a.” Ironically ebullient is an adjective that perfectly describes my grade-school self. Kudos to Hailey on a job well spelled! And for the record, I always preferred Prego to Ragu! 😉

  24. Two things: I make a dish called Ragout Raleigh and have for 20 years. Mispronounced it for 18. (Full disclosure: I got the recipe from “Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Recipes Cookbook”… I was probably under the influence when I bought it in South Carolina. Don’t ask.)
    Second: Perhaps because I’m from Austin and there are hydroponic shops here, the only hydroponic reference I have EVER heard is for pot. I personally think Victor is in denial.

  25. I also think tomatoes when I hear hydroponic. And? I mispronounced hyperbole as “hyper-bowl” until just last year. I’m 51. Embarrassing.

  26. i heard the word “ragout” for the first time in my life just yesterday. my brain voice read it as “rag out” too. obviously. now that i know what it involves… no thanks! cock combs? seriously? no.

    ps. hydroponic is totally weed. Epcot mirror ball weed.

  27. Huh. I feel like the recipe is just silly, splitting between wine and water. Boil them all in water. Drink the wine. And then forget you were cooking so it burns and throw out the pig ears. Finish all the wine. TA DA.

  28. In Canada, “ragoût” is French for “stew”, any kind of stew and not just the disgusting pigs’ ear kind.

  29. Hahahahahaha!!!! One of my 19yo said something very similar when I pulled up a recipe for sausage white bean and kale ragout (our dinner – no ears or testicles needed unless they are in the chicken sausage but that brings up all kinds of questions about chickens and ears/testicles). He said rag-oh…one step removed from rag-out, imho! And when I hear the word ‘hydroponic’, I think of tomatoes…I think they were popular when I was a kid.

  30. I thought “artisan” and “artesian” were the same word until I took my mother around a renovated warehouse in my college town and told her they’d used all local artesians to do the work making all the little boutiques. I still remember her literally doubled over with laughter in the middle of the building.

  31. K, that’s weird because I totally saw a water pony the last time I smoked weed! 😛 I kid, I kid. It’s legal here. No judging. Hehehehe

  32. So how’s this for breaking stereotypes? I grew up in suburban Long Island and knew about farming technique known as hydroponics. You grew up in rural Texas and didn’t… Oh. Of course. You had room to plant stuff IN THE GROUND.
    And yes, Lost in Space may have had something to do with it too. (Lost track of who said that!)

  33. Hydroponic reminds me of the TV show “Lost in Space,” which is the first time I ever heard the word. Yes, I’m ancient.

  34. I always thought it DEbacle not deBACle. When I said it to my son, he was like: WHAT? and corrected me but the look he gave me let me know our relationship was ever changed. Early dementia’s a slippery slope but I can flag the moment my kid saw my nursing home form. In my defense, I’ve said like a hundred times in my head and it sounds just FINE my way. And has nothing to do with animal parts. Thank God.

  35. First: The number of non-gardening type guys who ask at the library desk where I work for gardening books is staggering. Don’t they understand that 1. I know what they are looking for? 2. The books on hydroponics are all missing.

    Second: Don’t read The Bloggess while eating soup. Lesson learned, computer cleaned.

  36. Way to go Hailey! \o/ Your daughter really is a bad-ass, just like you. She deserves a prize for being best girl in the bee. How much older than her were the higher placings (I dunno how they age group these things if they’re all like 10-12 or maybe as high as 14 maybe even)?

    We don’t do the spelling bee thing in the UK, my nephew & niece have both always been ahead of their age group & even at 13 I can’t imagine them having to spell things like ragoût or hydroponics (or a good number of those words you posted when you first mentioned the spelling bee a few weeks ago – what’s with all the foreign words in your kid’s spelling bee anyway? I thought it was supposed to be an English test confused Brit). I did already know how to pronounce ragoût (my dad likes it – there were no weird ingredients in it though), though I would probably have struggled with spelling it. Because it’s French. And I did precisely 2 academic years (so about 16months altogether) of French classes about 28 years ago! lol.

    As shiny & bad-ass as she already is, I can imagine what awesome, ass-kicking woman Hailey will grow into. Maybe she’ll even end up a hydroponic pot farmer 😉

  37. Hydroponics = Space gardens. It’s how they grow food on spaceships, often shortened to ‘ponics … It may be that I’m a giant SF nerd.

  38. Tomatoes here too. I like to use hyphens in certain words, to help my mental pronunciation, like “co-worker” (without the hyphen, what is “to ork,” and why would you do it to a cow?) and “micro-organism” (otherwise it sounds, in my brain, like some kind of very Scottish name: “Och, aye, he’s a McCrooganism, laddie; ye cannae trust a one of ’em!”)

    But more to the point, yay for Hailey! Go, girl!

  39. Woohoo, good job Hailey! Here’s a long-ish story about a spelling bee:

    When I was a kid there was a lingerie & adult novelty store across the street from my father’s business and they had a big neon sign with the word “Lingerie” in their window. I had asked my mom once what Lingerie was but I said “Linger-y” and she thought I said “lingering” and she said “well it’s like loitering or hanging out” and I asked why anyone would want to hang out at the Persian Peacock (the name of the store) and she got all confused and flustered and I explained I that I wanted to know what their sign meant. She explained what is was (I believe her exact words were “Fancy uncomfortable underwear for silly women”) and how it was pronounced.

    Flash forward to my 6th grade spelling bee. It is the final round and I’m up against this super smart kid named Austin. They give him the word lingerie, he asks them for a definition, and then get really embarrassed and messed up the spelling because he couldn’t stop giggling and coughing. I got the same word and spelled it correctly and went on to win. I’ve always felt like a bit of a fraud because I won due Austin’s inability to keep his shit together when faced with mental image of lacy women’s undergarments. I’m sure if the word had been “seguidilla” or “butyraceous” he would have won.

    To this day I am not easily embarrassed by words, they are only words.

  40. In one of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books, cocks comb soup is a delicacy made especially for the bishop.

  41. Coming from Michigan, where we have a growing season that is roughly 3 weeks long, I associate hydroponics with tomatoes. Is this “pot” you speak of used to cook the tomatoes? Which are then spread all over nachos? And chased down with a pan of brownies? All while giggling hysterically over a cobweb or something equally as amusing?

  42. Here in California, “hydroponic” shops and billboards are everywhere. They cater to the pot-growing public. Congrats to Hailey! I could have won my school spelling bee in first grade with the word icicle – but I was too scared to knock out the sixth graders still in the contest, so I just sat down. What a wimp!

  43. All I can think of is sauce, viz., Hollandaise sauce 😀
    Spelling contests aren’t a big thing in Australia like they are in America.
    Well done Hailey!

  44. For everyone wondering why someone would have said unique ingredients on hand…

    Ragout = Stew, and when you’re in the middle of a war/depression/famine/zomebie apocalypse where food is scarce and you’re desperate, you’ll do anything to make anything potentially edible also palatable. In a family like mine where nothing ever goes to waste and mystery ingredients are the norm… They’ll just add a few spices and tell you it’s chicken. The real question isn’t why would they have these on hand, it’s WHY WASN’T THIS RECIPE CHANGED OR AT LEAST SALTED & BURNED NEVER TO SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY in a time of relative abundance when you could just use a frigging meat ball?

  45. Hydroponics reminds me of EPCOT and Star Trek Voyager then Deep Space Nine. Because I’m a nerd. In both the real life and tv cases it’s how food is being grown. Pot is a very closely next though.

  46. By the way, EPCOT is pronounced EP-CO when you’re in the French part (and some of the Canadian part).

    Really, French people, the end-word letters are there. Why do you just ignore them?

    Yeah, I know English spelling/pronunciation is weird, too, e.g.: “Tough”, “Cough”, “Slough”, “Plough”, etc.

    Maybe I should move to Cholmondeley. (Pronounced: “throatwarbler-mangrove”).

  47. I’m 70, now and can still blush remembering the hundreds of words I mispronounced because I had only read, not heard them. Certified bookaholic. I’d get so embedded in my books that when I stopped for dinner, I’d answer questions with an answer and “she said”. I can spell like a red headed demon, but I was, and am, the weird kid in the room.

  48. The use when called for recipe sounds like something you feed to someone when they don’t know they’ve been asking for it. Ragout with boiled cock combs sounds like something you’d feed to someone who has been a dick a little too long and needs a bad stomach ache.

  49. Howling about the ragout. I was in a very nice French restaurant once and pronounced it rag out. The waiter did not flinch, to his credit:). I’ve been mortified for years since. Because I’m a word nerd and it will make the other word nerds mock me. Hydroponic makes me think of lettuce or tomatoes. Perhaps also b/c of my lack of exposure to drugs:). Can’t have everything . . .

  50. Pig’s ears? Lamb testicles? Who does that? And who does that, gives it a name, and then publishes the recipe so other people can do it?

    This is either a joke, or the person who came up with it has been sampling the wine and knows very well how to spell “hydroponic”.

    (Huh. Autocorrect immediately recognized hydrponic. I think that explains a lot, don’t you?)

  51. A long, long time ago, I used to sell hydroponics supplies among other things at a…tobacco shop…yeah, that’s the ticket. We also sold bat guano for those who loved cooking with mushrooms. Anywho, we did have a couple of different displays set up with house plants, and now I am wishing we had actually put in a real garden. This was in New Mexico, so that is about the only way to really have a vegetable garden. Also, I was really naive when I first started working there (I am from the midwest) and had no idea that people were so creative in their gardening. 😀

  52. Well done Hailey!
    My first thought with Hydroponics was vegetables, mostly because I first met the word in Sci-Fi novels

  53. Wait! Jenny! You’ve never even seen testicles? That leaves me with some serious questions!

  54. I’m sorry, a cock comb?? Is there also a special kind of mousse and conditioner available, and styling accessories like crimping irons and hot rollers? Is anyone walking around with cock-cornrows or a cock perm? What is happening???

  55. So, I was knocked out of middle school spelling bees REALLY early on. BUT in 7th grade I won the district Middle School and High School VOCABULARY BEE, which has always been a point of pride for me. Maybe TOO much of a point of pride.

  56. Congrats to Haley. Yes, it is a good thing that she didn’t know how to spell Hydroponic. Shows that she is still innocent!

    And yes, the word hydroponic makes me think of drugs as well, so it isn’t just you! take that, Victor

    The only reason that I know what ragout is, is because it is mentioned in lots of period novels. Even then, I had to look it up the first time.

    Honestly, why would a recipe call for “cock combs”, where would you get it, and when would you need to use it?

  57. i was much older before i realized that hydroponic was not exclusively used to describe the process of growing weed. Sooo…. yeah…. Not sure i should proud of that

  58. I think we are missing am obvious step here folks…sometime long ago in a far away time someone said, “Hmmm Pig’s ears? Lamb testicles? I wonder how those taste? WOW…I need to create a recipe for this. And I need to spell it completely opposite of how it’s pronuonced.” And people bought that shit!

  59. My niece used to read a lot so when she mentioned some of the words from the book she may have only read them and not heard them. That being said, she asked her mother what “ma-la-REE-ah” (malaria) and “spina by-FIGHT-ah (spina bifida) were. That is still a family story we love to tell!

  60. I only just found out a few years ago but one of the commenters made me realize that I’ve been saying epitome wrong…

  61. I’ve been in school for my entire life and I have no idea what any of those things are (especially “ragout” and “cock combs”). I’m considering asking my college for my money back.

  62. Hydroponic is totally weed. There is a radio ad that plays here where they talk about setting up your hydroponic system to grow “vegetables” and I always picture them doing the air quotes every time they say “vegetables.”

  63. OMG. i just read a very old post of yours that said Victor got his head stuck in a fence at Disney. IS THIS TRUE??? Because my son did that, too, and I thought we were the ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD WHO COULD SAY THAT! I think this makes us sisters!!

  64. I think of Star Trek Voyager. Soooo geeky. But they had a hydroponics farm fo food when stuck in the delta quadrant.

  65. She’s standing on a stage in front of a bunch of people WITH A SMILE ON HER FACE!! AND…AND she came in 4th place, which means she had to actually speak coherently.

    My God, I’m proud of the girl. She’s fearless. I could never do that without passing out and/or throwing up on the microphone.

    I thought of pot, too. I watched a documentary for Colorado’s Mary-J business and there are a lot of growers using hydroponics.

  66. As I replied on Twitter, I think of tomatos, as in hydroponically grown. They usually taste like crap, probably because they’re grown in water not soil.

  67. I’ve been saying Rag Out as well. Ragu is spaghetti sauce, Victor! Unless all you use is Prego. Which sounds like something that makes you pregnant. And that maybe too much responsibility for just sauce.

  68. Hydroponic = lettuce that doesn’t spoil right after you buy it, because you can buy it with the roots still attached.

  69. I always wished we had spelling bees when I was in school because I was awesome at it. But apparently my school wanted everyone to be a winner, so we just settled for everyone being able to spell all the same easy words.

  70. The Dinner:Impossible episode in which Robert Irvine toured the hydroponic Disney gardens was JUST on, too! I’ve never been to Epcot, but I thought Disney, too, because of that!

  71. Well pot is what I think of when I hear “hydroponic” too. Didn’t anyone watch Weeds???? Or go to college in the ’90’s when growing pot indoors was everyone’s get rich quick scheme? Frankly, I’m disappointed in people.

    I thought ragout was slow cooking meat sauce, as opposed to marinara, which is fast and has no meat? None of my recipes have combs or testicles, just short ribs and meat balls (not the testicle kind).

  72. OMG – thanks Jenny and everyone else for all the laughter. I’m 55 and just learned last year that ennui is not “In – You – Eye”, but “On-We”. So I’m slow. And until today I never knew cocks had to be combed.

  73. I was in a lot of spelling bees in grade school. I got tired of having to do the walk of shame across the auditorium (with everybody staring) after misspelling a word. So in 6th grade, when they were going through the classrooms to see which kids would have to go onstage and spell in front of everyone, I misspelled “cradle”.
    I got in trouble at the spelling bee anyway. I had smuggled in a book and was trying to read. They couldn’t have any of that!

  74. When I become king, the kids will be placed in a sound proof room and ALL be given the same word to spell. Otherwise one kid gets the word “ROSE” while another gets “CHRYSANTHEMUM”!! Totally unfair.

    p.s. Do I have your vote for king??

  75. I live in Colorado, and absolutely nobody here would even think about Disney World if you asked them what comes to mind when you think of the word “hydroponic”. Unless they’re already high. Okay, especially if they’re really high. It seems that every other corner now has a store where they sell hydroponic equipment for “indoor gardening.”

  76. Oh Jenny, let me introduce you to the best possible recipe for ragout (which he spells ragu). Damn the lack of accent marks on this keyboard – I am too lazy to go find them.

    A sampling of this delightful recipe: “…you will experience genuine existential dread at the fleeting moments of your transient life that you are giving to the production of ridiculous goddamn vegetable sand for some stupid fucking meat sauce, fuck fuck fuck at the end of my life I will not be able to say that I created great art or experienced great love or lasered a bunch of space-aliens, but rather only that I spent all my time chopping vegetables into ever smaller pieces of vegetable on the orders of some internet person—but, stick with it.”


  77. I was an avid reader all throughout school, and lived in a little under-educated town of 350 people. There were LOTS of words I’d read, but never heard pronounced. I will never forget the day in high school when a classmate was reading aloud and encountered the word “melancholy.” He paused, looking for help, but the teacher wasn’t paying any attention, so I piped up, pronouncing it mel-ANN-cholly, because that was how I’d always “heard” it in my head. The teacher was a bit of a witch, and gloated mightily over the fact that she got to correct my pronunciation. How would I have known it was actually pronounced MEL-an-CALL-y?

  78. Thank you for your blog.

    And for sometimes saying on twitter that each of us matter.

    It means a lot to me, and sometimes I need it.

  79. I’m wondering if the Disney World thing was people getting confused with animatronics. Were there any Chuckee Cheese references?

  80. notquiteold | January 23, 2015 at 11:40 am Said:

    “My first spelling bee in first grade: The nun gave me the word “UP” and I sat down and pretended I didn’t know it. I thought it would be too rude (and maybe a sin) to say “You Pee” to a nun.”

    It is common to say the whole word after spelling it, so…Methinks it would have been a declaration that would be the beginning of an adventure if you had told the nun, “You pee…Up.”

  81. I love your blog because you clearly don’t have all your marbles. Keep it coming.

  82. Congrats, Hailey, that’s a solid performance!! Also….I totally think of pot, but I also think of cucumbers.

  83. Disney World grows most of their produce hydroponically and on site. Including the Mickey Mouse shaped pumpkins and tomatoes. They even have a ride that takes you through their garden. M and I rode it when we went.

  84. It’s definitely Texas’ fault. We live in California, where the word “hydroponic” is plastered on every 3rd building. Kids can spell it by the time they’re 3.

    Spelling bees are awesome! Congratulations to your daughter!

  85. I feel like the phrase “used when called for” should be at the end of all instructions. Putting together a couch? Used when called for. Making pancakes? Used when called for. Shampoo? Used when called for. “Danger” whistles? DEFINITELY USE WHEN CALLED FOR.

  86. Yep, I think of pot when I hear “hydroponic”. My husband, however, goes the sci-fi route.

  87. “the word Hailey missed was “hydroponic” and I only know that word because of pot. Maybe if pot was legalized in Texas she’d be exposed to it more and would have won. ”

    Awesome logic and hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

    Also, I agree: pot is the first thing I think of when I hear “hydroponic.”

  88. Congratulations Hailey, you are one smart cookie!

    Jenny, you and Victor have much to be proud of.

  89. Well, along the same theme, I used to always think “quinoa” was pronounced “kw-in-oh-wa.” (I’m pretty sure it used to be pronounced like that before it became trendy. Right?)

    Also, I read a recipe on a Australian blog that called for biodynamic milk. Now I totally want to see a biodynamic cow. Maybe that’s the Australian term for “Water Pony”?

  90. I found out a couple of weeks ago at work that timbre is not pronounced tim-ber, but tam-ber. What’s worse is that I had even heard the word tam-ber in conversation but never made the connection that it was in the context of timbre. Why language are you so mean to us?

  91. 1) I’m still amazed you live in Texas 2) I’m Irish- I never make my own ragu or gravy. I highly recommend Rao’s -it’s worth the extra $2 a jar 3) That said the best spaghetti sauce I ever had was made by a red-headed Irish boy who added weed to the sauce and called it hippie spaghetti.

  92. I don’t even want to admit how long it took me to figure out that segue was pronounced Segway. That’s the problem with being a voracious reader– your vocabulary is massive, but you can’t pronounce anything correctly!

  93. The French have an unhealthy attachment to vowels. Even when they’re forced to put the odd consonant in their words, they rebel by refusing to pronouce them.

  94. One of my parent’s biggest fail moments was when I spelled “Bush” incorrectly in the spelling bee.
    I really thought “Busch” was the correct way.

  95. What the hell is a cock comb??!

    googles it

    Oh. OK. it’s not what I thought it was but it’s still f*cking disgusting. I’m never using Ragu again.

  96. Turns out I made it to my 40’s and had no idea that this was pronounced anything other than rag out. I was on my biggest vacation ever from S.Carolina to Seattle. I ordered some fancy room service. I give them credit for not laughing before they hung up the phone.

  97. I associate “hydroponic” with pot and really expensive tomatoes at the grocery store. However the sign for the expensive hydroponic tomatoes always makes my think of pot.

  98. I actually don’t associate “hydroponic” with anything, not vegetables or nothin’. Congrats to Hailey! Very proud of her.

  99. My husband went to New Jersey for 6 weeks around 19 years ago and he refuses to call sauce anything but red gravy since then. It’s annoying.

  100. Since you’re already a czar, I think you should run for another office too and use your political influence to get pot legalized here in Texas. I’ll be your campaign manager.

  101. favorite post this week. hailey looks just like you. and wordsmith! of course, she’s your daughter! congrats on the huge accomplishment and I also blame texas for a lot of things.

  102. I was in the spelling bee when I was in the fifth and seventh grade. Both times I got out on my first word because I got a crippling case of stage fright. The sad part is in the fifth grade the word was skates and I spelled it SKAT. The second spelling bee was worse because I knew the word but unintentionally switch some of the letters like the dyslexic person than I am. So props to Haley for not getting stage fright and for doing really well on her spelling bee!

  103. I also hear the word “hydroponic” and the first thing I think of is the hydroponic gardens ride at EPCOT. Then I think of weed. Because I’m classy.

  104. Somehow I got to be as old as I am without knowing ‘ragout’, which I also would pronounce ‘rag out’ and would think it was a type of dance or something.
    And hydroponics were invented so that people can grow weed in their basement. Everybody knows that.

  105. This post had me giggling madly. A friend of mine just mentioned her hydroponic garden the other day and I said “You grow weed???” I’m in Texas as well so it was a shocker! My friend was a little put out that I even thought she would and she said that no one else thinks of pot anytime someone says hydroponic!

  106. Bonjour from Montreal! Indeed ragout is really just means stew so unless you specify beef stew (ragout de boeuf) you may get random meat and veggies in sauce. It does not mean pasta sauce, Ragu is just a brand name.
    As a mom teaching French spelling words to my kids, I know first hand how difficult those silent letters are! It’s all memorization – you can’t just “sound it out”.

  107. I’m from Colorado so of course I think of pot. But I was at a fair and there was a booth for ‘hydroponic supplies’ and the vendor got quite frosty at the ‘allegation’. He said they were for TOMATOES. Yeah. Pot tomatoes. (That would taste more awful than ragout!)

  108. The first thing I think is lettuce. Hydroponic lettuce. When you get it at the grocery store it still has the roots on it.

  109. We had a spelling bee in class and i was doing well until i got ‘obituary’ which i’d never heard of but could hear the female dog word in the middle and felt terribly awkward for spelling the word out loud and wondering when the teacher was going to stop me from spelling a bad word in front of everyone. And then imagine my shame that ‘that’ word wasn’t even part of the word. tsk, tsk.

  110. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a farm state and went to an agricultural college, but I first think tomatoes when I hear hydroponic. So, maybe Hayley doesn’t have to learn drugs first. …. 🙂

  111. Congratulations to Hailey! Spelling bees are awesome and way to represent for the brilliant women of the world!

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