Semantics

When my husband retired from 25 years of teaching biology at Wilmington College, our Quaker liberal arts college here in southwest Ohio, he said to me (and I quote): I am going to take up cooking now that I am retired! But what I heard him say is (and again I am quoting): I am going to take over cooking now that I am retired.

According to Webster’s New Dictionary of Synonyms, to ‘take over’ can mean to get possession or control of something especially with reference to ‘difficult operations’ for which cooking definitely qualifies in my humble opinion. According to my husband who is I might point out a parasitologist not a linguist, to ‘take up’ carries the connotation of ‘now-and-again’ or “I’ll give it a try’ such as in I’ll take up knitting and see how I like it.

The exact meaning of taking-up and taking-over can be debated in the kitchens of this world for years to come I’m sure. But, in the meantime, four to five nights a week, Doug prepares terrific meals from veggies he’s grown all summer long complemented by seasonal fruit he canned earlier this year or bread he baked this morning…and me? I am happy to play my part in the family-agreement that the cook gets to watch Pardon the Interruption while the person who did NOT cook cleans up and does the dishes. We’re coming up on three years, and my goodness are we eating well! You should try his yellow squash soup!

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