Molasses and Treacle

The first of the two letters reprinted below makes mention of a certain habit of mine; i.e. my tendency to sign off correspondence with the phrase ‘may the molasses/treacle of culture continue to drip upon your face/noble face/noble visage’. Molasses has, you will have noted, given way to treacle over the years – for what reason I cannnot say. Both are fine words, if not products; though one supposes that treacle, these days, is in wider use. Molasses feels, to me at least, like a nostalgic word: an old man of language, struggling to make it through these modern days.

Whichever word I use, the phrase in question retains its ability to bemuse. Some struggle, it seems, with the whole concept. The treacle of culture? Dripping on my face? They fear for me.

It is at this point that I should admit that my choice of words has got me into trouble: not with my readership, such as it is, but with my wife. I would say more, were it not for the fact that I already have. See all the grisly details here (second paragraph).

Meanwhile, may the treacle of culture…


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