My friend and I happened to ponder on one of the universe’s mysteries: the difference between a biscuit and a cracker. Weeks ago, we were eating biscuits and he asked about the difference between the two. We’d usually just eat them right away without giving a thought on their distinction.
I scanned the recesses of my memory. I might recover old home economics stuff stacked in my mental archives. But I didn’t. I told him maybe it’s with the way they are made although I don’t exactly know how. Then again, I guess you’d know the difference when you eat or see one.
So I checked the dictionary. It might be able shed some light on the matter. Unfortunately, it wasn’t of any help. A biscuit is defined as a “small soft raised bread”. ‘Biscuit’ is also what the British call cookies or crackers. The definition for cracker added more to our confusion — a cracker is “a thin flat crisp biscuit”. Will Webster make up his mind?
I asked another friend of mine. Perhaps she’d know the distinction. According to her, a cracker is a biscuit that “craaaaacks” while a biscuit is one that doesn’t. The evolution from crackers into biscuits (or maybe it’s the other way around) makes for a “confusing genealogy”.
Arthur C. Clarke would have been mystified as well. My friend and I finally came to a conclusion: crackers crack, biscuits break and cookies crumble. They’re not specific definitions but it still makes sense.
But I guess it doesn’t matter as long as you can eat them, right?