Sommelier (was to "maggie")

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Mon Jul 21 23:18:08 UTC 2008

Benjamin Barrett wrote:
> On Jul 21, 2008, at 9:44 AM, sagehen wrote:
>> on 7/21/08 9:50 AM, Wilson Gray at hwgray at GMAIL.COM wrote:
>>> I've never heard this word pronounced in English, so I have no
>>> opinion. But, is it the case that being a wine writer and an
>>> oenophile
>>> makes a person also a sommelier?
>>> -Wilson
>> ~~~~~~~~~
>> Apparently it has taken on these & other meanings.  To me, it has
>> only meant
>> someone in charge of the wine who can inform about, recommend &
>> serve it....
>> but it has been years since my living standard included being in
>> places that
>> employed such folk.
>> [As for coffee, while fussy about the beans, roast, variety that I
>> buy to
>> brew my own, I'm always simply annoyed by being asked to specify
>> some style
>> of coffee in a joint that seems to have everything in the way of
>> flavorings,
>> methods, additives & who-knows-what.  Usually their bare-bones
>> coffee is
>> pretty poor stuff! ]
>> AM
> (Always wanting a way to talk about coffee on any forum, I've found a
> way to connect this back to American English)
> Recently, a donut chain (Winchell's or Dunkin Donuts I think) ran a
> commercial with customers moaning about the foreign language required
> to order coffee. Their shtick was that you could order espresso at
> their restaurants in English, but I think they were actually selling
> products like "lattes" and "mochas".
> (Here's the relevant part) I took this to be in part aiming for the
> anti-foreign-language advocates in the US and partly in response to
> people annoyed by all the options.
> I don't watch TV a lot, but it appears this commercial is no longer
> running. I don't know if it simply ran it's course or people decided
> it's controversial, but I certainly found the anti-foreign-language
> element annoying. BB

Are you sure they weren't mocking the Starbucks labeling of cup sizes as
venti, grande, etc. You can't walk into a Starbucks and order a medium
coffee (or a medium anything else). That doesn't stop me from trying, of

Alice Faber                                       faber at
Haskins Laboratories                            tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                               fax (203) 865-8963

The American Dialect Society -

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