Eat Your Words: Epithet and Sorbet
Devouring books and crafting meals is great – but sounding smart while you do it is even better. That’s why we’re teaching you to eat your words. In this weekly guide, we introduce one literary device (PAPER) and one culinary term (PLATES) everyone should know.
Epithet (noun): a descriptive title assigned to a person or place that becomes normal over time.
Example: Famous examples of epithets are "Alexander the Great" and "Ivan the Terrible." These nicknames of sorts are notable for their ability to stick so well; unlike most descriptive titles, these become part of the person's name in history. In How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, none of the characters have names, but author Mohsin Hamid assigns the second protagonist the epithet of "the pretty girl." It is easy to imagine slipping any girl's name in before those three words and, in the context of this novel, having them become her identity. This is an unusual example of epithet, certainly, but no less an interesting one.
Sorbet (noun): frozen, fruit-based dessert.
Example: Sorbet and sherbet are two similar but often confused desserts. Though they can share ingredients, the main difference between them is which base they use. Sorbet, like the kind I used in my sparkling clementine-raspberry float, has a fruit base made from puréed fruit, sugar and water. In contrast, sherbets often include milk, gelatin or egg whites. Also, sorbets tend to have a softer consistency than sherbets.
See past installments by visiting our Eat Your Words archive!