look up your loanwords

I was editing a passage about a young woman who enjoyed baking, and her interest in making cute cakes came from her grandmother, who baked every weekend for her guests who came for high tea. Thus: ‘She vowed that she would become a patisserie.’

It startled me into laughter. Aspiring to become a French bakery wasn’t a terrible career choice, all in all. 

Some words are confusing, especially those pesky French loanwords, and that’s where the dictionary comes into use. A patisserie is either a shop that sells cakes and pastries, or those pastries themselves. A patissier is a person who makes those cakes and pastries. There’s also the option of using other, more familiar words: ‘She vowed that she would become a pastry chef.’

If a word is unfamiliar, or it’s one you don’t use often, look it up. Sometimes you’d be surprised to find how it means something different from what you thought it did.

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