One Man’s Toothsome is Another’s Melts in Your Mouth
We all have our pet peeves. I’m cliché crazy so I should tread lightly here. I use tasty to describe food and that’s probably a nuisance to some (though I wouldn’t necessarily use the term in something professional, whatever that means anymore). I would never say yummy (or god forbid, yummo) but it doesn’t rankle me. I really don’t care for the word succulent and once an editor inserted that into an opening paragraph I’d written and it skeeved me out.
My least favorite food description has to be melts in your mouth followed by to die for with sinful as a close runner up. I guess chocolate really does melt in your mouth, hence the M&M’s melts in your mouth, not in your hands tagline, but you see it used all the time to describe meat and fish and that’s not really accurate or appetizing. You usually see melts in your mouth in online forums or casual venues, it’s to be expected, but last week it was in a Time Out NY review. No, not the New York Times, but they do have standards (and a style guide).
Out of curiosity, I turned to Chowhound for a sense of this phrase’s ubiquitousness. I’m not picking on Chowhound, they just proved to be a good resource because they’re one of the longest running food boards and I thought I’d get a good sampling. I was expecting a couple hundred hits. But no, there were 3,296. Seriously. And the second hit contains an amazing double whammy right in the title. “Melt in your mouth, to die for sushi?” Bonanza.
Not completely related, and it’s a Britisism/Aussieism, but only in the past few months have I become acquainted with the phrase to the boil as in “let it come to the boil” as opposed to to a boil. Petty, I know, it’s a standing in/on line thing. My ears just can’t get accustomed to standing on a line no matter how long I live here.
I'm sure there are countless other petty offensenes. I've heard of toothsome haters and it doesn't pain me in the least to use the adjective.