June 12, 2011

Short on Scale

English is the assumed language of many places on Earth, of commerce in general, and of Lawrence, KS, at the very least. One might thus assume that any transaction taking place in Lawrence, KS, ought to be conducted in English, with perhaps the odd Italian word thrown in for necessary prentention.

Machiatto, for instance. Con panna.

In truth, cafes are often derided for the foregin nomenclature, mocked for superficial affectations.

Why grande, and not simply medium? And venti? It's all so confusing.

Fortunately, the smaller two cup sizes are straightforward enough: short and tall. They are English, and moreover, they are ubiqutous. A short thing is defined as something that is not tall, and vice versa. It is a relationship in the tradition of yin and yang, cast as perfect opposites.

Given this, I had assumed there would never be confusion on the matter of those two sizes, and how they relate. Short is short; tall is tall. More importantly, short is shorter than tall; tall is taller than short.

That assumption crumbled today, it's structure undermined by one simple query: "Which one is smaller?"

Say this for me: I swallowed my sarcasm, and responded as politely as I could manage. But say one more thing for me: I was not so polite as to refrain from writing about the utterance.

No comments:

Post a Comment