On Sunday night, a now-immortal Succession phrase entered the lexicon: “You can’t make a Tomelette without breaking some Greggs.” It’s an essential truth of its own, though of course it specifically refers to a series of emails that Tom Wambsgans sent to Cousin Greg(ory) that come up during congressional hearings about Waystar Royco’s shady cruise operations. According to Senator Gil Eavis, Tom sent this subject line 67 times in one evening, and though we don’t see the emails written out onscreen, HBO’s captions spell out the line “You can’t make a Tomlette without breaking some Greggs.”
This raised some questions for me. For one, of all the possible ways to spell “Tomlette,” why go that way? Why not Tomelette, or even Tomelet? An omlette, after all, isn’t a thing. Secondarily, I agree with the spelling of “Greggs,” a fitting portmanteau of Greg, an egglike person, and egg, a Greg-like food. But why not simply “Gregs?” And if this is just what Gil was saying, what was Tom’s own spelling? Did he vary it across 67 emails?
In a quest for understanding on this point, I had to do some research. New York’s style guide* prefers “omelet,” which would therefore render the words “Greggs” and “Tomelet,” though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the second. So, I also reached out to HBO, which confirmed with an inside source that the proper spelling is indeed “Tomelette” and “Greggs,” to match the spellings “omelette” and “eggs.”
There you go: You can’t make “Tomelette” without adding that first “e,” something Tom himself apparently needs to get a handle on.
*The initial version of this post said New York’s house style was “omelette.” This is incorrect, and I apologize for breakfast-related error.