People

Sep 14, 2011

languages apart - non musical content


Hi folks- just  a rant here- no music content whatsoever.  Why are these things you get at the supermarket called 'Carrier bags'? I mean, what does one do with a bag except to carry things?

Category: General
Posted by: micaela

I would imagine 'plastic bag', 'disposable bag', or 'shopping' bag would be far more usefully descriptive.

This is like saying 'lager beer'. I know of no lager that is not a beer, so lager says it all.  Or tuna fish. To my knowledge there isn't anything thing else made of tuna. Or my favourite 'Chai tea'. Chai is the word for tea, so you are saying Tea, Tea. Yes, the Indian (and other cultures') methods of spicing the tea set it apart but surely there's another way to say that (How about 'spiced Asian tea'?) Closer to home, a great example is Bredon Hill, apparently means 'Hill hill hill' in Welsh (Bryn), Saxon (Dunn) and English (Hill). My thanks to the late Tony Jerram for that tidbit.

A certain supermarket has the slogan 'Every little helps'. I know this is from a larger saying, but I still find it jarring that it's missing an object. 'Every little WHAT helps?'  Every little bit? Every little thing?

At supermarkets we now have 'scan your own' tills. I believe their sole purpose is to increase appreciation for the staff who work 'real' tills, because these folks can scan multiple items with panache, key in over-ride codes for discounts, and generally get on with the job, without that annoying voice reminding us to 'Please put the item in the bag'.  For that matter ,why does B & Q insist that everything you buy have to fit on a scale? For a 2 x 4 (that's a strip of wood) and a huge bag of cement or sand does not fit neatly onto even their capacious scales. Perhaps after such annoyance the unwitting conusmer will skip the swiping step and place it on the floor, as the machine won't know the difference anyhow. And what are you to do if the scale won't fit all your stuff anyhow?

Finally, with my American hat on, where did people get the idea that a supper where everyone brings a dish is 'American'?  When I see 'American supper' listed on something I have to cringe.Firstly, Americans call such a meal 'potluck'. If you want to call it 'bring and share' that is surely equally descriptive if not more. Secondly, I just want to point out that not all American meals include the expectation that people bring a dish. Considering how generously Americans tip wait-staff (to the extent that European Continentals often think us foolish), I hope you know that we know how to have people over and do not expect them to bring stuff.

My final controversial parting shot- the obseity epedmic.  What a SILLY term.  you cannot 'catch' obesity, but rather you develop it by poor eating habits. I'm quite taken with the '5 a day'campaign and have been working on it for sometime.  Firstly, children need to eat food, not 'kid's food'. So serving them a totally different meal is unnecessary pandering. I ate what my parents ate, and 'liked it', and I'm not a fussy eater, so it's really not rocket science.  Secondly, the fact that many Brit desserts are literally swimming in cream leads me to suggest a starting point.  The next dessert or pudding or sweet you have, skip the cream; you might actually taste the flavour a bit better (except for sticky toffee pudding, which one should only consume on only the most exceptional occasions, in which case pour it on). Thirdly, please abolish all conferences or functions where supper (the evening meal) is served later than 7pm.  the idea that a drinks reception is at 7pm and then we might consider ordering actual food at 8.30pm is patently unhealthy.

Okay rant done.  Any comments?