Make Your Editor Cry: alamode or ala mode vs. à la mode
Like most editors, I’m sensitive to preserving the spelling of originally French phrases that the English language pillaged. In the French phrase à la mode, the accent mark (aka diacritical) over the first “à” is optional in English, although this is an adaptation of the French phrase “à la mode de” meaning “in the manner of” so adding the diacritical is appropriate.
How “in the manner of” equated to a scoop of ice cream atop your slice of pie? No idea. The ground truth is lost to history. However, if you offer a slice of pie à la mode on your menu, be careful not to spell it “ala mode” or—worse—“alamode.”
In English, the phrase à la mode spelled exactly like that spaced and all basically means something trendy, fashionable, or stylish. Or, you know, topped with ice cream.
She took her apple pie à la mode with a healthy scoop of vanilla on top.
In a reversal of his longstanding support for a political movement that was once à la mode, the senator voted "no" for the bill.
Gregg Bridgeman is the Editor-in-Chief at Olivia Kimbrell Press. He is husband to best-selling Christian author Hallee Bridgeman and parent to three. He continues to proudly serve in the US Armed Forces and has done so in either an active or reserve capacity for more than twenty years as an airborne and air assault qualified paratrooper, earning a Bronze Star for his service. Most importantly, he was ordained in October of 2001 after surrendering his life to Christ decades earlier.