Yesterday, at the Christmas Potluck, I turned to Y, who had brought a salad, and asked, "did you already dress the salad?"
Y, and the rest of my dining companions, stopped all conversation and stared at me as if I had sprouted another head. "What?"
Yet again, my confidence in my mastery of the English language was shaken to the core. Isn't "dress the salad" correct? Is it a Southern-only saying? Or simply part of my family's weird conversational style? Is my family the only one which dresses a salad ... as opposed to "pours on the salad dressing" (or something else as equally linguistically awkward)?*
Speaking of dressing, do you call the herbed bread you eat with turkey stuffing or dressing?
I've always rationalized it thusly: If the herbed bread is cooked inside the dead bird, it is stuffing. If it is cooked separate from the bird, it is dressing. I have no idea if that's correct, but it makes sense to me. And that's how I explained it to my students in Japan.
The word of VUBOQ for the people of VUBOQ.
Thanks be to VUBOQ.
*The other option would be that my dining companions were stupid.