Friday, January 27, 2017

“Hot dog parlor”

[Henry, January 26, 2017.]

Yes, it’s a panel from yesterday’s Henry, but every day’s Henry is yesterday’s Henry. And I thought that, surely, “hot dog parlor” is yesterday’s language, a term with no currency in the non-Henry world. I thought of what T. S. Eliot wrote: “last year’s words belong to last year’s language.” But was Eliot referring to Henry? Probably not.

Google finds “hot dog parlor” alive and well: “Staten Island finally has its own upscale hot dog parlor” (2004); “ice cream shop turned hot dog parlor” (2009); “the shed has evolved into a hot dog parlor” (2014); “Maggie spotted the shop sandwiched between a hot dog parlor and a shoe repair store” (2016). That last one sounds like my kind of neighborhood, even if its hot-dog parlor and shoe-repair store (shop?) are, like the other parlors and the ice-cream shop, missing hyphens.

“Sandwiched between” reminded me to wonder: is a hot dog a sandwich? Merriam-Webster says yes. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (for a variety of silly reasons that confuse words and food) says no. The NHDSC’s official statement (and its possibly more serious reasons) has disappeared from the organization’s website.

Related reading
All OCA Henry posts (Pinboard)

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