Eat my verbs

  I love the terse taglines of Dumbo Kitchen on York and Jay Streets in Brooklyn. (A good friend lives near the deli, and I notice them every time I visit her.)
You don't cook. We do.
And it gets better than that. On each of the large vitrines is another reason for the harried commuter to step within:
You pitch. We cook. You sketch. We cook. You create. We cook. You code. We cook. You commute. We cook. You craft. We cook.
              Verbs in the imperative mood—which may or may not include the subject you—seem to be more popular than ever in advertising. (Remember, verbs can be expressed in three different moods in English: the indicative, the imperative, and the subjunctive. The imperative mood might express a command or make a request, but it might also just be more informal and irreverent than the straightforward indicative mood.) JetBlue uses verbs in the imperative in posters on the jetway and in politically correct notices on seatback screens:
Pack Freely. Parents please monitor children Reduce what you can, offset what you can’t.
And it seems like every time I pass through Boston’s South Station, JetBue has fabulous ribbony banners suspended from the ceilings like those boasting about the number of nonstop flights out of Logan International Airport:
Rush to Rush Street. Snow Birds Should Fly Straight.
(You’ll see these Jetblue examples in the all-new version of Sin and Syntax, which hits bookstores in mid-August 13.) Of course, I’m kind of nuts for verbs, as my other book proves, so when I see a good newspaper headline or book title that depends on verbs I keep them for my files. Since the subject here is eating, here are some I’ve saved:                    
  • Eat, Pray, Love (Title of book and movie)
  • Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat (a popular guide to antrozoology, or the study of human-animal relations, by Hal Herzgow)
  • Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch (Title conceived by yours truly for a book on the verb)
  • “Roasted, Smashed, Dolloped, Devoured” (An article by New York Times food writer Mark Bittman on the “revelation” of the newest in crostini: mashed squash or about mashed vegetables on toast)
If you have any savory examples, post 'em below!

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6 Responses to Eat my verbs

  1. Mackenzie Kelly July 13, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    You drink. We cook.

  2. Constance Hale July 13, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    In the post office today, the woman ahead of me in line was carrying a reusable tote from Staples. (Apparently a promotion in June allowed you to fill the thing as high as possible, and save 20 percent off everything you could fit into it, “including clearance and furniture.”) But what I loved, of course, were the words emblazoned on it, all but one an imperative verb:

  3. Constance Hale July 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    The last novel by David Rakoff, who died in August 2012, is titled “Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish.” (It came out last week.) All verbs. Here’s a description, from the New York Times:
    “The story spans decades, from turn-of-the-20th-century Chicago to midcentury Manhattan to San Francisco at the height of the AIDS crisis, and then to the near-present, when a grief-stricken man opens a wrapped box from long ago, and all the years — with the longings and indignities and small, eventful generosities they contain — collapse into a single moment.”
    The title can be read as all imperatives, and in a way suggests the urgency with which Rakoff, who was diagnosed with a malignant sarcoma before starting the novel, approached the project. It sounds fascinating–written in rhyming iambic pentameter.

  4. Ralph August 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    “Say You, Say Me… Say a few more personal pronouns.”
    – Lionel Brockman Richie

  5. Felix August 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    I write, you read, we love both.

  6. 腕時計 ランキング September 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    激安citizen reguno

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