It's "poseur".

While I'm on the subject of abuses of the English language, here's another thing that has gotten my goat for a long time, but I've never written about publicly. If you're describing someone who pretends to be something he or she is not, the word is "poseur", not "poser". Compare the two definitions with the links provided (check both definitions of "poser" you'll find there) -- neither of them apply.

Yes, they are pronounced essentially the same way in English, and yes the etymology of the word "poseur" is the same as that of "poser," but there is a reason we have both words in English: so that we can be specific and exact when we speak. If you say one thing when you mean another, it should be from wit, not ignorance.


Vault, son of Surge

I am someone who loved the late lamented Surge. I became acquainted with it almost immediately before its discontinuation around 2000-2001, at the house of my friend Brendan. Thereafter I bought several cases of it, perhaps even the last cases in the area, because for several months afterward, I saw no more coming in, even after I asked about it at the store. While visiting Brendan's house around this time, I was surprised to find he had a 12-pack of Surge left, and he graciously shared it with me, even after I told him I was unable to find it anymore. He believed it could still be obtained through ThinkGeek.com, and maybe it could at the time, but soon enough, it was all gone, and I later learnt it had been discontinued.

Other drinks I loved which were discontinued include 3 drinks from Sobe: Wisdom, Karma, and Zen Blend. The first two may have been discontinued for a good reason, as they contained St John's Wort, which may not be the best thing to put in drinks. But Zen Blend was a wonderful blend of several kinds of tea, 3 or 4 kinds of ginseng, and several fruit juices. It became harder to find, and eventually vanished, only to be resurrected with a changed recipe a year later or so. It wasn't as good, had far fewer ingredients, but I took it anyway. I was only able to find it at one small gas station about 2 hours' drive away. I stocked up whenever I happened to be passing by that way, but soon enough it was gone from there, too. I still have a single bottle of the original blend, which I have the semi-joking fantasy of replicating someday when we have access to molecular or chemical samplers that can reconstruct a substance from a sample. If it hasn't horribly spoiled by then. I have no idea of the shelf life of this sort of drink.

Anyway, I finally tried Vault. Well, it was only released nationally 5 months ago, and may not have shown up here until last month. I know I'm the only one on the Frappr map in the Central Valley. But last year I was in Virginia, which was test marketing it at the time. Just never got to try it until now.

I admit, my memory of the taste of Surge is rather cloudy, but Vault pleases my palate quite nicely. I think it's a worthy replacement, though perhaps it wasn't necessary to increase the amount of caffeine. I think it's second only to Jolt in this recipe, while Surge was below Mountain Dew (another favourite of mine). At any rate, my taste result was that yes, I accept Vault in place of Surge, and after finishing the bottle, my opinion remains the same. I'll be getting more. In fact, if I had a Vault T-shirt, I'd wear it proudly to spread the word of our new saviour.


It's BATED breath!

I don't know if it's coincidence, or if this phrase has been used in some popular media recently, but I've seen several people use the phrase "waiting with bated breath," except they spell it "baited," which doesn't make any sense. The phrase is "bated breath", as in "held breath." Look it up here. More examples: I'm holding my breath in anticipation; don't hold your breath waiting. It actually means something, when spelled correctly. What would "baited breath" mean? You're putting bait in your mouth and blowing? Merriam-Websters is your friend.