NTMP #20: Chalupa pentameter
What about everyday cheese rolling?
New-to-me Phrases, June 12, 2022
Extreme cheese rolling * Nipple housing envelope * Centering at the margins * Taco Bell Quarterly * The great ice cube tray in the sky * Sauerkraut abandonment issues * Giant marionettes
The Phrases, With Context
Sorry this week’s newsletter is a bit later in the day than usual. My town had its third annual Pride parade and festival today. Happy Pride! This week I only collected three phrases, so I pulled some from the NTMP wayback machine, aka a 48-page Google doc crammed with linguistic chicanery.
1. Extreme cheese rolling
Found this one via the Morning Brew newsletter, a go-to daily read of mine. One of the many, many things we lost to this stupid pandemic was the Gloucester cheese rolling competition. But it’s back, baby!
Considered an “extreme sport,” a wheel of cheese is rolled down a very steep hill, reaching upwards of 70mph. One crazy mofo has won this thing 23 times, but is retiring after winning again this year, so here’s your chance.
2. Nipple housing envelope
This one comes via my friend RAR, who emailed this Slate article on mammalian lactation methods to accompany it. The male gaze angle of the piece is pretty cringey, but the cool nature facts are worth wading through that muck.
3. Centering at the margins
This phrase appeared in a NYT newsletter last week, which linked to this 2016 essay published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The essay’s authors argue that, even when physicians aren’t racist, they are operating within a racist structure. Therefore, it’s important to center care “at the margins,” defined here as:
“[T]o shift our viewpoint from a majority group’s perspective to that of the marginalized group or groups.”
To me, this feels on par with the “Curb-Cut effect,” which I learned about a few years back and it opened my mind to why systemic supports, rather than being indulgences for a rarified group, are often a societal good for everyone.
The essential thesis of the curb cut effect is:
“Laws and programs designed to benefit vulnerable groups, such as the disabled or people of color, often end up benefiting all of society.”
As Angela Glover Blackwell wrote in 2017 in the Stanford Social Innovation Review:
“There’s an ingrained societal suspicion that intentionally supporting one group hurts another. That equity is a zero sum game. In fact, when the nation targets support where it is needed most—when we create the circumstances that allow those who have been left behind to participate and contribute fully—everyone wins. The corollary is also true: When we ignore the challenges faced by the most vulnerable among us, those challenges, magnified many times over, become a drag on economic growth, prosperity, and national well-being.”
Both of these ideas remind me of the phrase “each according to need,” which I learned while taking a course on special education during the hot minute a couple of decades ago when I considered becoming a teacher. Already a “big tent”/”build a longer table” kind of person, Once I heard the idea of educating each student according to need, as opposed to in the same cookie-cutter way, I realized that “fairness” isn’t necessarily equity, and my mind changed forever. I hope that if any of these ideas are new to you, that maybe they’ll change your worldview for the better, too.
Anyway, if you care about or want to learn more about diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, read both of the essays linked above.
4. Taco Bell Quarterly
So this exists.
The brainchild of writer M.M. Carrigan, I low-key aspire to write something for this literary journal. However, I’m not sure what angle I could pursue, except that during every one of my three pregnancies, meatless Burrito Supremes were my go-to meal. The hormones want what they want. I suppose I could make it into a Taco Bell haiku or sonnet.
It’s unclear whether they’re still accepting submissions, but if you do submit, let me know!
5. The great ice cube tray in the sky
When I first started collecting phrases in 2018, I intentionally didn’t capture context or sources for them. I wanted them to be pure, wild, and free.
I changed my mind a few months in, when I realized that word-herding was more than just a passing fancy, and I especially wanted to give credit where credit was due.
I wish I remember where the heck this phrase came from but alas, I do not. It’s still great, though!
6. Sauerkraut abandonment issues
My notes say I said this. I have no idea why.
Somebody please write a backstory for this one.
7. Giant Marionettes
My only note on this was: “No.”
Fun fact: This was the second-ever new-to-me-phrase, from way back in July 2018.
Want to know the first-ever phrase? I’m pretty sure I haven’t shared it yet, so you’ll have to tune in next week (assuming I remember to share it).
That’s all for this week! Remember to stay curious and seek out new-to-you phrases, because it’s fun!