If 20 was 24, plus a question about linguistic hucksterism
Then I dropped into a local Starbucks and found that its venti (the Italian word for twenty) drinks now contain twenty-four ounces. The same Starbucks has added a trenta, which, naturally, contains thirty-one ounces even though trenta is the Italian word for thirty.
This means I can no longer simply ask for a small, medium, or large rather than the Starbucks equivalents of tall, grande, and venti. (I got around the problem this time by ordering a 24-ounce drink and asking the counter clerk if the drink whose name means twenty really contains twenty-four ounces. Her reply? "Would you like whipped cream with that?”)
But this is a watershed in American fast-food retailing: The stuff-your-face supersize McDonalds mentality meets the semantic snobbery that has “baristas” mispronouncing doppio macchiato all over America. It is also not the first time Starbucks has altered a word's meaning for its own purposes.
What examples of
© Peter Rozovsky 2013