tit-bitical journalism

While waiting for my Mongolian beef, extra spicy, and steamed dumplings at Hunan Wok, I read through the latest issue of Tidbits.


I was surprised that the "Hallandale Beach Hollywood & Dania Beach" newspaper was read by over four million people a week. Tidbits apparently has an "Any Roosevelt in a Storm" policy. The story's about FDR, the phot is Teddy.



But then again, as a Tidbits ad suggeste, why are we reading at all in the 21st century.


"Tidbit," by the way, was originally "tit-bit" and comes from "tid," weak and fragile, and "bit," a small horse. The OED has the word hyphenated with either the d or the t and suggests that the d form is chiefly North American these days. It can mean "a small and delicate or appetizing piece of food[like my steamed dumpling]; a toothesome morsel, bonne bouche." It can also mean"a brief and isolated interesting item of news or information; hence in plural, name of a periodical consisting of such items."

Henry Fielding wrote in Miscellanies: "My Farce is an Oglio of Tid-Bits."

"Oglio?" Fro the Spanish olla, meaning an earthenware jar or pot used for cooking. Hence olla podria, a highly spiced stew of meat and vegetables. Oglio is commonly spelled without the g, as olio. So used figurativel, it means "any mixture of many heterogenous elements, a hotchpotch, medley, jumble."