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Aug 16, 2013 02:55 PM

editing "iconic potato salad" intro

The intro to the herbed potato salad recipe begins: "The iconic potato salad recipe has a mayonnaise dressing,..." (URL: This is yet one more incorrect use of the word "iconic."
What this should say is: "The classic American potato salad recipe has a mayonnaise dressing,..."
The classic French potato salad has NO mayonnaise, but has a vinaigrette with lots of parsley and sometimes scallions or shallots.

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  1. mine doesn't even have potatoes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hill food

      I believe that would be the "ironic" potato salad recipe...

    2. Well, if you accept definition 2 on, say, iconic can properly mean "executed according to a convention or tradition." Yes, this usage pertains to art, but applying it to cooking, we believe, is well within accepted usage.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Jbirdsall

        True, but the text says "the iconic" not "an iconic" which implies it's the only one. Besides, "iconic" is way overused these days, replacing much more specific words, as in this case. It's *American* potato salad that's always made with mayonnaise, not *all* potato salads. Why call the mayonnaise potato salad "iconic" when it's much more accurate to say it's "the classic American potato salad"?

        1. re: RedEmma1991

          that is an important point a good copy editor should have caught.

          1. re: hill food

            I'm sorry I got a bit snarky at first - as I get kind of grammar nanny sometimes as well.

          2. re: RedEmma1991

            Well, "classic" is as overused as "iconic" (maybe more so), but both are cliché for sure. Anyway, we love that you guys apply such close readings to our work! We're flattered.

            1. re: Jbirdsall

              And on the advertising banner "You also might like" 20 iconic layered hairstyles.

              But 1 out of 5 ads currently shown deal with food. Well, KFC secret menu items. Loosely defined as food.