Category Archives: Everyone Needs a Copy Editor

Spring Break Needs a Copy Editor

(Even as I type that title, I can’t help thinking that it goes without saying.) Nevertheless: from the trenches of travel come the following signs.


This is with thanks to Kent, who smartly decided to avoid the Splash Pad until he learns how water is recalculated. The two images below come, respectively, from Japan and Ohio, and are both… clarifying.



Before I lived in Europe, I worked as a copy editor. I still enjoy a good sign.


1 Comment

Filed under Everyone Needs a Copy Editor

Yet another “American” sandwich


I tell you: I never knew how much America was known for the sandwich until I moved overseas. I’m still pretty baffled by it. This is from a place in the Zurich airport, which was convincingly neither Italian, or American.

Click here for past “American”isms.

1 Comment

Filed under "American"

“American” Sandwich


I think I took this in Beaune, France, this fall. I came across it (happily) while sorting through massive quantities of barely-organized digital photos and wishing (unhappily) that I did more organizing of our travel photos immediately following our traveling. I lost two hours trying to turn an assortment of the best from last summer’s vacation into an iMovie and then considered how difficult it would be to create some sort of “best of Europe” album from our time here—and do I fancy sorting through thousands of digital photos to do it?

The thing I kick myself for is not labeling the photos immediately with where they were taken. A year afterward, I’m looking at photos taken in five charming French villages and trying to recall which was which. The only really good tip I have is to take photos of village-name signs and road signs and restaurant names and things like that—the images may not have artistic merit, but they will help you later on.

Any other travelers out there have great tips on organizing and finding actual uses for your photos?


Filed under "American"

“American” Cranberries

All right, I’ll agree with this one. As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m looking forward to roasting some of these into sauce—these “power berries from the USA”!

Also on the “America” theme… in September in France we stopped for an off-the-highway dinner at a place called Buffalo Grill. It’s the kind of place I feel ironic eating, because there we are confirming their ideas that this is how Americans dine. Well, in the US I avoid places like TGI Friday’s; and in France, I don’t think I’d return to a Buffalo Grill. The food was mediocre, but the experience was surreal. Twangy, sappy American country music was blaring on the sound system, and TVs set up throughout the large restaurant were looping a promo video for recreation in the state of Utah. It was minute after minute of footage confirming that happy Americans spend their days white-water rafting, hiking, and climbing, all looking incredibly fit and sun-kissed.

Placemat, Buffalo Grill

If you go to this link and watch the video called “l’concept interieur,” you can also view a sample of the decor as it includes representations of Native Americans and, of course, the American bar-snack staple: popcorn.

Addendum: I’m not the only person who finds these things (and is amused by them!). Here are two other “American” restaurants discovered by Expat Bloggers….

“I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas” from A Flamingo in Utrecht

and “Not Quite a Slice of Home” from Marwarology


Filed under "American"

“American” in Paris

You know how at grocery stores there are different cultural aisles? Well, it’s no different at la Grande Epicerie, the upscale food extension of Paris’s famous le Bon Marche. There is an Italian shelf with fancy pastas and tomato sauces. There is a Japanese shelf with the makings of intricate home sushi.

And then there’s the “USA, Canada” shelf. Have you ever wondered what sort of goodies we’re credited with in the wider world? Processed salad dressings… ice-cream toppings… M&Ms (at a whopping €8-9 a bag!)… Fluff… peanut butter… microwave popcorn… and, OK, Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. That’s one thing I actually stock up on when I’m at a Target!

“Classic Foods of America”

Harry’s American Sandwich

You can see past “American” sightings here.


Filed under "American"

Landlord’s Warning Needs a Copy Editor

We already know that desperate times bring about desperate typing: a fact that the memo below proves yet again. East Coast-ers, stay safe!

Thanks to the contributing resident of Parktowne!

1 Comment

Filed under Everyone Needs a Copy Editor

Ambiguous Recipe Needs a Copy Editor

Apple crisp

It begins innocently enough. Perhaps the idea of a pie shell for apple crisp seems odd, but you forge along… until you’re wondering where the rhubarb came in, and just what exactly are you making? End by buttering the pan. Eat whatever seems best.

Thanks to Scott, who hopefully didn’t waste a bunch of apples. And another thing:

I took this photo months ago, in Cambridge, near the campus of Harvard, where there is no excuse for bad spelling.


Filed under Everyone Needs a Copy Editor