Reader to Reporter: Please Ditch the Dollop

Reading a cover of Beth Slifer and her Vail interior design business in the Denver Post, I was thrown off by the line "comfortable, functional and timeless with a dollop of opulence." I can deal with the word dollop (but just barely) in recipes, but it's too precious and patronizing to press into use elsewhere.

Word fads are addictive. I'm alarmed to see "dollop" cropping up as often as burnt orange colored vehicles on the highway. Last week, emblazoned "Emerging markets will see dollop of fund flows" on its home page. Puleeeze! An interview with the mystery author Dean James described him as "churning out sprightly feel good reads with a heavy dollop of humor and a twist of murder and mayhem." Even the New York Times has fallen for the dippy word. A book interview in today's issue says, "During this visit to Nana Selma, Rayne relives his troubled but nurturing boyhood, and also gets a dollop of history."

I'm sorry to say that dollopmania has spread all over the English speaking world. The Financial Post had the temerity to report two days ago that "Taxpayers embroiled in tax disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) often hope the Tax Court will throw in a dollop of 'equity' and 'fairness'." When using the word dollop, it's almost like the reporter was sketching two quote marks in the air, throwing irony and doubt over the item or person that received the "shapeless mass" or dollop of drollery dropped with no fanfare on his unsuspecting head.


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