Friday, March 9, 2012

Here's the scoop

I once got clopped on the head and was paid off in a lump sum.

But here's a woman whose lump sum would bring a smile to anyone.  Meet Louise White, who went to the Stop & Shop up in Newport, RI, on a mission to buy some rainbow sherbet.  While she was there, she bought three Powerball tickets, and wouldn't you know, two of them were no good, except as bookmarks.

But the third one was the third-biggest winner in the history of Powerball, 336 million semolians worth of winner.  Even though she took the $210 million payout rather than the annuity, she still was able to throw the losing tickets away, since she can now afford to hire people to keep track of her place in books, instead of flimsy bookmarks.  In honor of her newfound wealth, she set up the Rainbow Sherbert Foundation to manage the loot.

Check the article closely, and you'll see evidence of one of the great controversies raging in this nation today.  Even more of a puzzle than which of her Cadiallacs Ann Romney ought to drive to her Stop&Shop is the ongoing debate between saying "Sherbet" and "Sherbert."

So here is what we know about Sherbet from the Encyclopedia Brittanica:

sherbet, Raspberry sherbet.
[Credit: Renee Comet/National Cancer Institute] frozen dessert usually flavoured with fruit, made from water, sugar, flavourings, and milk or cream. Egg white or gelatin may be added to ensure a fine texture. Sherbets may also be flavoured with wine or liqueurs. By U.S. federal regulation, sherbets must contain a minimum of 1 percent and a maximum of 2 percent butterfat. Water ice, called in French sorbet and in Italian granita, is similar to sherbet but contains no dairy ingredients.
The word sherbet derives from the Persian sharbat, an iced fruit drink; iced desserts were introduced to the West via the Middle East. In the late 20th century there was a revival of the practice of serving a tart sherbet or sorbet between the courses of an elaborate meal to refresh the palate.

We imagine that Americans started saying "sherbert" because there were so many people named Herbert.  Let's see, there was Herbert Hoover, unsuccessful president, and Herbert, the perv on Family Guy, and Herbert Anderson, who played Dennis The Menace's father.

But if Ms White wants to call her trust fund the Rainbow Sherbert Foundation, that's just fine with me. I can think of 210 million reasons why she should.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

When pronounced sherbet, it sounds downright rascally. Either way, don't care much for it. (the money, on the other hand...)