Sunday, November 7, 2010


QUESTION: Please can you advise on a matter that, although seemingly trivial, is causing some tension in our household. Like many families, rather than spreading butter on our toast at breakfast time, we have switched to one of the supposedly healthier alternative low-fat spreads. Our problem is by what name should we refer to this new product? My wife continues to ask if I’d please pass the butter, but as it isn’t butter, I find this irksome. If I refer to it as margarine, she is annoyed by the implication that we are using some inferior low-quality butter substitute. To request that someone passes the low-fat spread is hardly elegant. Please, Mary, can you advise on the correct terminology?

C.S., Woodbridge, Suffolk

ANSWER: Why not use the word ‘lubricant’? The products to which you refer are, technically, lubricants, and when you have guests they will enjoy laughing at your use of this term.

Hilarious, no? And a great idea. We never, ever use margarine or its low-fat equivalent, but now I wish we did just so I could call it ‘lubricant.’ Perhaps from now on I’ll start asking: Is this butter or is it lubricant?’ The possibilities are endless. I encourage everyone to start using the term.’ Makes this schlock sound like what it really is.

To read the full article by Dr. Eades, right click here.

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