44 Comments

  1. Well not absolutely the same but almost. You can construct circumstances at the margin where one would be totally appropriate and the other slightly off. But that isn’t exactly a difference of meaning.

    (Setting aside how the question has a mismatch in who it’s addressed to.)

  2. It’s just a standard Don’t Ask, e.g. John Anderson:
    But don’t ask her on a straight tequila night
    She’ll start thinkin’ about him, and she’s ready to fight
    Blames her broken heart on every man in sight
    On a straight tequila night

    Whereas “How you doing? is Joey Tribiani’s pickup line.

  3. Massive sugar consumption is a sign of depression. Asking a woman how it’s going when she’seating large wooden spoonfuls of cookie dough is like asking a man how it’s going when he’s drinking whiskey out of the bottle with a straw.

  4. A tub of raw cookie dough is the ultimate comfort food. Stereotypically, emotional women having a rough day drown their sorrows in a big glass of wine, eating a whole tub of ice cream, or, in this case, eating a tub of cookie dough.

  5. They are so close to having the same meaning to me that my brain often can’t decide which one to use and it comes out as “how’re you going?”

  6. For the comic explanation, Powers has it summed up nicely. For the “how’s it going”/”how you doing” as a greeting, they are close to synonymous, but could have different meanings in other contexts. For instance, you might be asking how someone’s renovation project is going when you ask the first, and “how you doing” wouldn’t be quite the same meaning.

  7. “How’s it going?” = How’s life treating you?

    “How’re you doing?” – How are you coping [or not] with how life is treating you?

  8. CaroZ says: “[…] my brain often can’t decide which one to use and it comes out as “how’re you going?” ”

    Or precisely Comment vas-tu? .
    Or Comment allez-vous? if you’re feeling formal.

  9. They mean and imply the same. If they meant different no-one would ever ask any-one other than an newscaster or sociologist or political analysis “How’s it going” because there’s no reason they would know any better than you would nor would there be any reason their opinion would be relevant. “How’s it going” may refer to “it” but clearly the asker is only concerned with how “it” affect the askee.

    As for the U…. as folks have pointed out, if she’s eating raw cookie dough it’s clearly going very badly indeed and to vent she’s going to blow up at you.

  10. I don’t understand the correlation between “eating raw cookie dough” and “things going badly”. I can eat raw cookie dough no matter HOW things are going. Or not going.

  11. There is an R. Crumb comic where one very stoned person asks another very stoned person “How’s your weather?” and it seems to make sense to both of them. In fact it almost seems to make sense to anyone.

    Sometimes when I am suddenly confronted with a large number of people I will say in a dazed tone, “How many of there are you?” It sounds like it makes sense.

  12. I never put much thought into the difference (or lack thereof) between “How’s it going?” and “How’re you doing?” until now. They are both the kind of throw away greeting where you don’t really expect much of an answer. But it made me realize that whenever someone asks me “How’s it going?”, I generally reply with “We’re doing great.” (We, because I’m usually walking my dog in those situations.)

  13. I have sampled raw chocolate chip dough, and it’s all right. However, I so much prefer freshly-baked cookies that I would hate to waste much of it.

  14. “I don’t understand the correlation between “eating raw cookie dough” and “things going badly”. I can eat raw cookie dough no matter HOW things are going. Or not going.”

    Yeah, but you only want to when things are going badly.

  15. And I won’t eat it under any circumstances. If I were feeling awful (emotionally), adding an upset stomach over large amounts of raw flour (and yes, admittedly, sugar) wouldn’t help any. I might bake cookies – distraction plus treat. Or eat ice cream.

  16. Maybe it’s not that raw cookie dough is actually more satisfying than finished cookies. But that when depressed your tolerance for delayed gratification is diminished, and baking seems like too extended a project, so cutting it short by consuming the dough seems like a pleasing alternative.

  17. I never heard of adults eating raw cookie dough until whenever it became a Ben and Jerry’s flavor.
    Raw dough?
    RRRRAUUUGGHH…D’OH!🤢
    I ate the ‘chocolate chip morsels’ out of the bag.

  18. There was once a CATHY comic in which she states something like, “I can eat an entire batch of cookies without ever turning on the oven.” I think the cookie dough has a better ‘mouth feel’ than do the baked cookies (especially with unsalted butter, which I use), which is what makes it so popular. You don’t hear much (if anything) about ‘raw Snickerdoodle cookie dough’ or ‘raw oatmeal-raisin cookie dough’, nor is there an ice cream containing chunks of either of these.

  19. Which reminds me of a comment used in advertising: “We treat you like family.” Well, if your family didn’t treat you very well, would this really be a recommendation [for whatever/wherever was being marketed]?

  20. Raw cookie dough is a regression to childhood thing. You help you parent make cookies and are in anticipation and you parent lets you have a taste from the bowl and its surprisingly sweet and interesting and it becomes a secret little naughty pleasure. In theory.

    Joke memes are generational and the jokes about cookie dough seem to have really flourished in late 70s to early 90s. I think part of its onset was tail end baby boomers recognizing there were other people with shared memories and the realization that now that we are adults we can …. eat cookie dough any time we want! We don’t even need to bake the cookies… we can buy pillsbury dough rolls and it it straight out of the tube!… There’s also a gender thing to this. Woman are supposed to have fond memories of girlhood and no that it recognized women are actually a significant part of the social world… we can talk about womens stress. I think the concept of cookie dough still exists but its not as significant. (And Shoe is simply not au courant).

    I associate the ending of the significant of the cookie dough theme with a greeting card i think i saw a little over twenty years ago that said “One of the signs that you realize you are finally an adult is when you realize that raw cookie dough tastes like s##t”.

    I guess in the twenty years since we have all reached that point and zoomed so far past it we can barely remember when it didn’t.

  21. My Mom never baked. With a bakery on every block in Amsterdam, she never needed to. I learned to bake (but not cook) in Home Economics class (remember those?). Also cross-stitched an apron; a skill I never used.

    Next theory . . .

  22. “One of the signs that you realize you are finally an adult is when you realize that raw cookie dough tastes like s##t”.

    Oh, no! I’m still not an adult!

  23. “My Mom never baked. ….Next theory . . .”

    which could be why this theme of cookie dough doesn’t resonate with you.

    …..

    I also think pre-packaged cookie dough being available in the 70s has something to do with this but I’m not sure how.

  24. I’m curious about a detail in the “Dennis” and how people understand it. In my own usage, “itching” is a sensation. (To which you respond by scratching.) But I do know people who sometimes use “itching” for an action … namely, scratching. “Stop itching at that! Leave it alone and it’ll get better!”

    So when Alice asks “Why are you itching so much?” which meaning pattern is she using? If she is in that minority who say “itching” for an action, it works pretty neatly that she is asking Dennis why he is scratching — and avoided “using up” the word scratch which is needed for the punch line.

    But if she is like most Americans and uses “itching” just for the sensation, she must be doing the obvious inference from Dennis scratching to figuring that’s because he feels an itch. But why would she say it that way, rather than just asking why he’s scratching so much. We know it’s so she doesn’t step on the joke. But what would be the in-world rationale?

  25. Never tried it; I understand in that product – and the one in ice cream – there are no eggs, to prevent salmonella. Far as I can remember, the ‘invention’ of pre-packaged cookie dough came AFTER the so-called craze to eat raw cookie dough. Perhaps even in answer to a demand. I still prefer to make my own.

  26. I found it disconcerting myself, especially as he is shown in action, that is, he is scratching. I can’t think of a way to show itching, unless showing chicken pox dots, as does the SHIRLEY & SON comic.

  27. Raw dough that’s safe to eat also requires pasteurizing the flour. I’ve read that it’s more of a concern than the eggs. Really the danger due to salmonella in eggs is rather overblown. The last time I was at a restaurant for breakfast, they refused to serve me over-easy fried eggs.

  28. Andréa and Deety, you’ve got an interesting point. But I think the solution is already there in Deety’s explanation of the question: The mom could be one of those people who just do happen to use “itch” for the activity of scratching. It becomes a little too complicated if we try to picture her inferring that Dennis is “itching” in the sensation sense from seeing his scratching.

  29. This would be the normal conversation:
    Mom: “Why are you scratching?”
    DtM: “Because I itch.”
    Mom: “I wonder why you itch so much [allergy, mosquito bite, chicken pox]?” (I normally would not put a question mark after an ‘I wonder’ statement, but I think this conversation calls for one . . . she is asking, not musing.
    DtM: [Being the brat that he is]: “From the meal you made from scratch.”

    Next question – does he even know what ‘from scratch’ means? Does he usually eat Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese from the box, and oatmeal from an envelope? This seems to represent a leetle more knowledge of cooking than a kid of that age would really have. Also, the wordplay seems to adult, even if he is [supposedly] a precocious kid.

  30. Okay – she earlier had said, to Dennis and Henry together, “I made tonight’s dinner from scratch!”.
    Dennis doesn’t need to know what that means, for him to hang onto that term and bring it back up in the wrong context. That’s just what Dennis is famous for! Like when he tells an evening adult guest “Can I see you drink like a fish, like my dad says you do?”. Or wait, was that actually Dennis the Menace or the parody version in Super-Fun-Pak Comix“?

  31. Supermarket customer: “I’d like to buy some scratch.”
    Clerk: “I have never heard of scratch. What is it?”
    Supermarket customer: “What is it? It’s what my grandmother used. She made EVERYTHING from scratch!”

  32. I loved cookie dough and cake batter and suddenly I have a craving for both. Both my brother and I also used to eat spoonfuls of cake mix directly from the box. My mom never said anything about it but she had to know someone was eating it because why else would there be half full or nearly empty boxes in the pantry. There were drought periods when the cupboard was bare so that might have been her solution. I stopped after accidentally inhaling a large amount but that was after a couple of years. That’s never an issue with dough or batter.

  33. I did this, too. I have a sweet tooth (several, actually) that is undeniable. I call Amsterdam the Sweet Tooth of Europe, with a bakery and a candy shop in every block. I grew up on chocolate (what is called ‘jimmies’ here) or chocolate flakes on bread for breakfast, or sugar sprinkled over bananas.

  34. “But why would she say it that way, rather than just asking why he’s scratching so much.”

    I had a problem with this phrasing too when I saw it. In fact, I was going to send it in for commentary. I think it would have been better if Alice had just asked, “Why are you so itchy?” so it wouldn’t blow the punchline, as it is. Maybe. I don’t know. The way it’s written is clumsy, that’s for sure.

  35. Mitch4: In a very early Dennis the Menace panel, from about the 2nd year of the run, Dennis says to his Dad, about their guest, “I don’t think he drinks like a fish!” Another one with a female guest: “I don’t see a blue streak when she talks.” I don’t think the parody version has done much the original version didn’t do. If you can find the very first collection of strips, you’ll see that Dennis was very nasty and downright dangerous in the first year. In one panel, Dad is at the doctor getting a dartboard-type dart taken out of a muscle.

    Dennis pretty much lost his malevolence by the time the TV show came out in the late 1950’s, and the plots on the show revolved around Dennis helping solve someone’s problem.

  36. My mother has a high school friend who used to baby-sit Dennis Ketcham. According to her he was one of those kids who liked to flush goldfish down toilets and tie things to dogs tails.

  37. We were not allowed to eat raw cookie dough or cake mix – we were told it was not good to eat same when I was young.

  38. Meryl A: One thing you must absolutely NOT eat is raw bread dough!

    Yes, it does taste delicious. But don’t eat it. Your stomach is the perfect temperature for the yeast, and the dough ball grows and grows and grows. At best it makes you extremely uncomfortable. At worst it can burst your stomach.

  39. Mark in Boston –

    I would not eat it, same as a I don’t eat raw cookie dough. Then again I can’t eat the baked cookie either – too high in carbs for my Diabetes, but I do eat baked bread in measured amounts.

    I am also never around raw dough anyway. I once tried baking in a “bake kettle” (aka a real Dutch oven not the casseroles that they call a Dutch oven these days) over a fire. The Pot is used as an oven and the item being baked is placed in the preheated (with fire coals) bake kettle and baked and then removed in its baking pan. I found a “receipt” for Apple Brown Betty (an American colonial dish that was suppose to glorify the American woman, as opposed to an Apple Charlotte – named after the Queen) and it used slices of bread as the base. I used that figuring even if the dish did not properly bake – no one would get sick from eating bread and apples in a sweet sauce with whatever else (I have forgotten what) went into the dish – because I know it would not be safe to eat bread, pie or cake which was only partially baked. (The dish came out great – but when I went to cook it again – at home in the oven for Thanksgiving – it was the sodden sweet mess I had feared I would end up at the event.)

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