|Memphis, by William Eggleston (Metropolitan Museum of Art)|
Thus I was happy to see the new sports wrapper, even though I don't follow sports, and happier to contribute to it at the end of November. I love our ongoing series on wall murals—interesting of themselves and a great way to get to know hidden corners of the city. I was happy to contribute to that too, and meet the great Jeff Zimmerman. I'm also glad they're bringing back Chicagopedia, our hand guide to Chicago ways and means through its distinctive use of language. The powers behind it asked if I wanted to contribute anything, and I've done several. This is my favorite so far:
ketchup /ˈkeCHəp/ n. 1. A sauce made primarily of tomatoes, vinegar and corn syrup. 2. A condiment which, when deployed on hot dogs, is considered by some to exclude the user from being a "true Chicagoan," whatever that is, when, in fact it is the concern, and not the usage itself , that is distinguishing as, 3. A code word for Chicago authenticity, visa a vis its non-use on hot dogs, by writers of advertising residing in other cities, recent transplants and others who for reasons unfathomable pay attention to the condiment choices of strangers.