There are plenty of people in Denver who love nothing more than catching me out in a mistake. But one of the benefits (and perils) of living and working in this freaky William Gibson future of the interweb? People from thousands of miles away can correct me, and also teach me things I didn't know before.
Just one example: In my review of China Jade (on the stands right now), I poked a little gentle fun at what I thought was a particularly winning example of phonetic spelling on the menu: the "cuminum cyminum flavored beef." Setting aside the fact that this was a particularly fantastic dish, I simply thought the description was funny. You know...goofy misspelling on a Chinese menu? Comedy gold, right? So, because I am a sucker for any grammar or spelling-based humor, I went for the cheap joke and moved on with the rest of my review.
But then, a couple days after it hit the web, I got a comment from someone calling himself Camdon, and scolding me for not knowing my Latin herb names. "For the record," he said, "cuminum cyminum is the herb that cumin comes from. Think coriander and cilantro."
Three cool things about this comment. One, Camdon is right. Two, I learned something new from reading his message. And three? Camdon was educating me from Anchorage, Alaska. Fucking awesome.
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Oh, and one other thing I should note? I also got the phone number for China Jade wrong. It's 303-755-8518. But no one (except my editor) caught that -- and she was too late for the print copy. Although thanks to the awesomeness of the Interweb, it's correct in the online review.