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We're adults, aren't we??

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So, let's cut the baby talk. The word is "SANDWICH", not sammies or a variation thereof.

  1. Where did the nickname "sammie" come from? I only recently began seeing "sammie" in print. I've never heard a person call a sandwich a "sammie." Is it baby talk perhaps? Perhaps it is derived from "samwich?"

    26 Replies
          1. re: acgold7

            It might be used more frequently because of RR, but I heard people calling sandwiches "sammies" before RR was on national TV (and I don't live anywhere near NY where she was on local broadcast TV).

            1. re: mpjmph

              Oh, I know. I just blame her for everything evil.

              1. re: acgold7

                LOL!!!! Sorry, but I just think your comment is hilarious!

          2. re: sueatmo

            rachel ray calls them sammies...
            and her other "words"
            evoo
            stoup
            yum-o
            gb
            delish
            cool beans
            easy peasy...

            etc etc etc......

            also the rise of im/text speak...leads to shortened/abbreviated words

            1. re: srsone

              Forget delish and yum-o. And what is gb (no, don't tell me). But EVO, never fails to irritate.

              1. re: serious

                iirc gb is garbage bowl...

                which she now sells....

                i stopped watching her a long time ago...

              2. re: srsone

                "cool beans" went around as a fad clear back in the mid 90s.

                "easy peasy" is a British saying

                The rest of them make me want to reach into the television and smack her.

                1. re: srsone

                  My mother used to say "stoup" LONG before Rachael Ray but thankfully stopped using it a long time ago as well. And I used to say "cool beans" back in the 80s or so.

                  But like acgold7, I'll still blame RR for everything evil. (edited to remove the smiley face after I read bob96's comment below.)

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    I agree with Linda Whit on putting t he blame on RR for all evil.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I say "cool beans" now! Got it from a friend in the 90s, never heard it before then.

                  2. re: sueatmo

                    What grates is not some pending doom of the language as we know it, but the use of a a smiley face and totally silly diminutive variant. It is indeed the sound of children. Like 'zza or 'rooms or 'ritas or whatever else drunken frat boys and sorority girls decide to coin. Or the endless use of "amazing" (or "cute"), and not only by Tyler Florence.

                    1. re: bob96

                      ugh, yes -- have 'za with the 'rents was all the rage when I was in college, and even then it drove me bonkers.

                      But then, I spell out and punctuate text messages, too....

                      1. re: bob96

                        I think you meant to say "A-maay-zing".

                        There's the emphasis on the middle syllable which is meant to convey enthusiasm, but comes across to me as being incredibly insincere.

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          I think someone's been watching Tyler Florence...

                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                            I'm not sure who that is, but I'm sure you're right... someone, somewhere has probably been watching!

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              :) He's one of those TV chefs that says *uh-MAY-zing* all the time. Not to mention *fun-TASS-tik*.

                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                Must be a Food Network guy? I haven't had cable since I returned from my travels in 2006 and have only occasionally missed it.

                                The most recent cooking show I've watched came from the LA public library-- they have all of the old Julia Child French Chef dvds, free for the asking!

                                Mr Taster

                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                  He is. Few programs would make me miss cable, too. But how cool is it that your library has all the Julia Child DVDs!

                          2. re: Mr Taster

                            my god, I'm flashing on Shelley Duvall in 'Annie Hall' vapidly declaring something "fantabulous"

                            1. re: hill food

                              LOL. I think the 'word' you are recalling from Shelly Duvall (in Annie Hall) was "Transplendent" (when describing her brush-with-greatness via a well known spiritual guru)... In the same film, a massive blowhard college professor was pontificating about Marshall McLuhan in a theater line behind Woody Allen and Diane keaton. Good times...

                              1. re: silence9

                                right right right "fantabulous was used somewhere else like 'Tales of the City"
                                transplendent IS.

                        2. re: sueatmo

                          Years ago, I heard Jamie Oliver referring to "sarnies". Maybe that's where it came from.

                          1. re: mnosyne

                            It's just British slang of a certain level (one that Oliver wasn't born into but affects).

                        3. I happen to agree with you 100 percent, but I recently got slammed pretty hard for commenting on someone else's sloppy usage -- I guess because it was aimed at a specific post. I guess people think the destruction of the language is cute. So be prepared for some blowback.

                          68 Replies
                          1. re: acgold7

                            Yes, but languages are constantly evolving and changing, thus destruction and reconstruction. English is the destruction form of Latin and others, no?

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              true, and that IS what makes them interesting, but there is a big difference between cross-pollination and decay.

                              1. re: hill food

                                Nice. I'm with you both, hill food and acgold7. I'm definitely not looking forward to reading books in text speak, if there are books in the future. And I wouldn't call English the 'destruction' of Latin. The argument there would be best served by looking at the differences between Old, Middle, and contemporary English. #Everthepedant.

                                1. re: Lizard

                                  Does English not borrow heavily from Latin? Does "sammies" not rooted from "sandwich"? Point in case, Modern English is derived from "something", and it is that something it has changed, just like sammies are changing derived from sandwich. Not very difficult to understand.

                                  1. re: thew

                                    or the French words that are actually Germanic and therefore run on a different set of gender article rules. (speaking for myself, a little knowledge IS dangerous as I can't really answer any inevitable question about why the S in the Les of 'Les Halles' is pronounced but not the second)

                                    still all fascinating stuff

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      As a Francophile (and practicing Francophone), I'd like to respond to hill food's quandary about the 2 s's in "les Halles". First, neither 's' should be pronounced. (See http://french.about.com/od/pronunciat... ) The 'h' is aspirated, so it functions as a separate sound from any preceding word.
                                      Second, if the 'h' were unaspirated (as in 'homme'), the first 's' in "les hommes" would be pronounced (in fact as a 'z'). So, in keeping with CH requirement to discuss restaurants & food, I'd like to add that the restaurant in NYC is correctly pronounced 'Lay Ahl".

                                      1. re: boredough

                                        ah my memory is shot then, maybe I am remembering it backwards that as you point out it is NOT pronounced but is in other uses... I knew there was some glitchiness going on. but as primarily an English speaker I certainly can't run around pointing figures over formal regularity.

                                        "Me (Never) Talk Pretty Someday"

                                          1. re: almond tree

                                            I expect the "h" in "Ahl" is meant to elicit the less-harsh "a" (sorry, do not know technical term for it, but I'm sure someone does) in French than that in English.
                                            (I'm English Canadian and one of the most difficult things for me with other languages is surpressing my native broad, strong "a".)

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              Yes, it's not "AL" as in Al Capone, but AHL as in Oliver. Can't give you the technical term though.

                                              1. re: boredough

                                                Wikipedia, Wiktionnaire and my battered paperback Larousse agree - it's "AL" as in Al Capone. Rhymes with "salle," "balle" and "Louis Malle."
                                                Or try this: http://www.forvo.com/word/les_halles/#fr

                                                1. re: almond tree

                                                  but "salle" (pronounced more like the name Sol, not to be confused with Saul) is not the same sound as the name "Al", which has a flatter 'a'.
                                                  if you can get the (tempermental) voice to "talk", listen to this: http://heracleums.org/tools/pronuncia...

                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                      ASAP,BLOG, SNAFU, etc. are still acronyms.

                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        ;) I can do without multiple LOLs and OMGs as well. But they do communicate something about the poster, don't you think?

                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                          I think so. That is precisely what language does. I don't wring my hands over the collapse of language (well, not until it's time to mark essays; then I weep blood) but enjoy how the choices reveal as much about the speaker as about the content expressed. More, probably.

                                  2. re: acgold7

                                    I, too, thought RR was responsible but can't say for sure. Yes, I thought I might get some static for this post.

                                    1. re: acgold7

                                      I think "sammie" is too cutesy, but you, know English evolves. For all we know everyone will be using the term in 20 years. Or not. Who knows? On sloppy usage--I feel that if I, the reader, understands the writer in an online post or thread comment, then communication has taken place. But if I have to mentally change the punctuation or spelling to make the thing make sense, then I'm having to work too hard to understand.

                                      Now, can somebody tell me when the adjective, crisp became "crispy?"

                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                        Unfortunately, you have a point. I used to be a stickler for proper usage of the English language, including spelling and grammar but, in recent years I've relented a bit because it's futile. No one else seems to give a damn and, like you say, as long as I understand what is being said, communication has taken place. It still bothers me, tho.

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          Here's the sort of thing I hate: Less chefs work at Andre's. (I made that headline up.) It should be fewer chefs, not less chefs. But of course, as you say, most readers don't seem to care. The problems in my newspaper copy bother me more than errors in online posts. And I don't always use proper grammar myself. Sentence fragments. Vernacular usages. Etc. :)

                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            It's not only that people don't care; they don't really know what's correct. It was never important to them to learn.

                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                              I agree. All of a sudden, they are writing posts and comments that everyone can see and read, whether they have learned to write or not. I am much more irritated by lapses in the newspaper, or on news sites that should have decent writers. I've noticed that the level of writing on CH is pretty good. And the help and information I've received through the years is much appreciated.

                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                Case in point: Mucho Gordo is incorrect Muy Gordo is correct.

                                              2. re: sueatmo

                                                that, is, however, like nails on a chalkboard to me. You are not alone.

                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                  that's incorrect for a different reason than you state. correct would be "chef quit/is gone at andre's." there is one chef. the line cooks are not chefs. if you added an apostrophe to your headlinde it would also become correct-- "less chef's work at andre's"-- because s/he is doing less work.

                                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                                    I know nothing about a restaurant's kitchen. But I was illustrating a usage problem. If I understand what you are saying, the headline could be: "Less Chefs in Springfield." But it would probably never be "Less Chefs at Andre's" because the hypothetical Andre's would only ever have one chef. I really did see a similar headline on one of the online aggregators. But I don't remember the exact wording or context

                                                    And I do know the difference between chef's, chefs, and chefs'.

                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                      yes, i think we're on the same page. i totally believe that a similar headline would be out there, though. i just pick up on the increasing misuse of the term "chef" because it's a pet peeve-- i think it really can be confusing, though :)

                                                  2. re: sueatmo

                                                    YES! Fewer and less are DIFFERENT! As are BRING and TAKE....as are plurals and possessives (or plural's and possessive's....ARGH!)

                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                      I probably abuse the word 'bring.' I think the apostrophes will always defeat people and I don't know why. You've read Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, right?

                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                        No, but it looks interesting! Thanks.

                                                    2. re: sueatmo

                                                      I agree, I have no problem with colloquial words and the cutesy stuff just lightens things up. As long as you know the rules of grammar, go nuts with the slang! It's more annoying that it annoys people when we use those words.
                                                      Also some of us post on these boards almost exclusively from smartphones where we take some shortcuts. As long as you understand what we are saying, why does it bother you so much??

                                                      1. re: iheartcooking

                                                        You've answered my post, but are you asking me why it bothers me so much. I think I stated earlier that I'm more bothered by errors of usage as encountered in pro journalism. But, yes, when someone says something like "there is less line cooks that before" it interrupts the flow. You go back and mentally correct what you have read. Another thing that stops the flow, is when someone uses the plural pronoun in reference to one person. And yet that occurs all the time and probably will become standard usage.

                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                          +1 on the now ubiquitous use of plural pronouns for one person. In the food world, I blame this on the (also ubiquitous) food reality-show challenges: "the winner will receive their choice of...." kind of thing. Agree it will become standard usage, too, 'cause we've gotten too lazy for his/her and it's clunky.

                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                            It is clunky: "anyone who has brought his/her cookbook to his/her home, should use his/her computer to e-mail his/her favorite recipe"... I can't imagine trying to say that, especially off the top of my head. What is needed is a generic singular pronoun. I don't think it's the food world. It's the US speaking world.

                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                              It's not that hard to unclunkify. You can pluralize the whole thing: "People who brought their cookbooks to their homes..." Or you can directly address the reader: "If you brought this cookbook to your home, use your computer..."

                                                              And we already have a generic singular pronoun. But I don't think "One who has brought one's cookbook to one's home" would be much of an improvement.

                                                        2. re: iheartcooking

                                                          There is a very fine line (at least to me), between using colloquial, folksy and cute, and affecting a major cliché.

                                                          All too often, I encounter menus (often in the Deep South), that crosses that line, and becomes very bothersome.

                                                          Now, I "hail" from the Deep South, so I grew up with some subtle aspects, but often the menu, or the delivery of the menu, is like a bad parody on the Deep South, and much of that seems to be by design.

                                                          As for some of the culinary terms, that seem to have crept into the popular lexicon, I can do without most of it. Same for too many sports commentators. Tell it like it is, and do not make up phrases, in hopes that they will go down in history.

                                                          Just my thoughts,

                                                          Hunt

                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                            I live in Minnesota (now, anyway - not from here!) and here there is a disdain for most things Southern, especially accents, schools, and food. Cutsie cliches, etc., just make the perception worse. They also think that they do not have an "accent" here - they do certainly have a "different" way of pronouncing words here, however!

                                                            One thing I struggle with is this: Regardless of region, how much is accent, and how much is mispronunciation? My mother is from the South, and she says "libary" - I'm sure she grew up with this pronunciation, but to me this isn't accent, it's wrong (sorry, Mom). She also says "tar" when she means "tire" - that IS an accent. Am I off track here?

                                                            Some will say it doesn't matter, and in many ways it doesn't. But these things are both noticeable and interesting to many of us, and attention to it is important in that all language needs some sort of maintenance to keep it....cleaned up and tidy....so that we can communicate with one another as well as possible.....

                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                              I will never attack the fine folk of MN, but the other points that you cite, grate on me too. I actually hear such more, with the national news media "talking heads," than locally, though I now live well outside of the Deep South. Even when I did live there, I seldom heard many, but then the Gulf Coast of Mississippi was almost considered to be a "bunch of Yankees." [Grin]

                                                              Hunt

                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                I heard 'libary' as a child growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis. I don't think that pronunciation is necessarily southern.

                                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                                  http://dialect.redlog.net/maps.html

                                                                  attempts to map a variety of dialect differences. Some have to do with pronunciation (caramel), others with word usage (dinner v supper).

                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                    Cool - thanks! Reminds me of my linguistics class.

                                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                Hunt: "a bad parody on the Deep South, and much of that seems to be by design"

                                                                oh believe me, the manufactured "folksiness" is not limited to one region. it drives me crazy. I mean just 'cause we're hillbillies doesn't mean we're stupid and only respond to "Hee Haw" type appeals. it's a calculated approach based on assumed suspicion and a certain fear of the unknown.

                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                  But nonetheless it is the fewer of two evils.

                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                    The "fewer"? Ooh, you are sly.

                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                      HA! well I'm having none of it unless Minnie Pearl or Junior Samples have approved it. or someone with worse grammar or diction. seriously, I love homemade TV ads and their inevitable quirks, but I have yet to hear one, ONE person (except for a mechanic 18 months ago) speak with more of a mush-mouth drawl than the crap used in regional mass-media commercials.

                                                            2. re: mucho gordo

                                                              I care! I don't use impact as a verb, not EVER, nor will I! If the OED caves, though, we're fu*ked.

                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                oh would it really impact your life if you did? yeah that and many other mis-purposed verb to noun or noun to verb words drive me crazy. for amusement I've been thinking of ways to re-situationalize words and see if they gain traction in common usage (see? there was one!)

                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                    thew, I maintain these words were mis-purposed in the vain attempt to re-purpose them... (but we're still cool right?)

                                                                  2. re: hill food

                                                                    Ongoing. There is no infinitive "to ongo." What's wrong with good old "continuing?"

                                                                    Best of all, how about the misuse of "literally?" Example from Jeff Rossen of NBC news recently: "People were literally glued to the televisions..."

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      That's like saying "Why did we have this second child? The first one was just fine. Plus the second one is kind of ugly." Can't you love both? By which I mean, appear to love both, but give more food and attention to the one you really like.

                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                        Ongoing most definitely is a word:

                                                                        Pronunciation:/ˈɒngəʊɪŋ/
                                                                        adjective

                                                                        continuing; still in progress:ongoing negotiations

                                                                        http://oxforddictionaries.com/definit...

                                                                        Might not be "to ongo" -- but it is definitely going on.

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                          And there are more where that one came from: outstanding, incoming, outgoing, off-putting, upstanding, …

                                                                          1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                            I believe that they are words used to eliminate the use of a preposition at the end of a sentence.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Quite right. I cannot imagine a worse thing to end a sentence with.

                                                                              1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                good thing I'm here to set you up with straight lines...

                                                                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                  Or, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, that is something up with which I will not put!

                                                                                  1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                    Oh, this is nitpicking up with which I will not put!

                                                                        2. re: mcf

                                                                          "Impact" as a verb meaning "To have a (pronounced) effect on" has been in the OED for decades.

                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                            Well, impact is a legit verb, but yes, not in the sense that you are talking about. Its misuse drives me nuts!
                                                                            Edit: Oops, didn't read DD response.

                                                                        3. re: sueatmo

                                                                          Okay, your last sentence bothered me, so I've been thinking about it. Fresh air can be crisp, a dollar bill or a starched shirt can be crisp. They cannot be crispy. Only food can be, no?

                                                                          1. re: Glencora

                                                                            specifically---- Bacon
                                                                            or potato chips

                                                                            1. re: Glencora

                                                                              Of course! But in the olden days bacon was crisp and so were potato chips. When did crisp, as applied to being "firm, dry and brittle" in a good way become "crispy." You do make a good point though. We never call apples "crispy." Or percale sheets. Why not though?

                                                                              The first time I heard "crispy" used for crisp was in a commercial in the 1970s or early 1980s. It bothered me then, because I didn't think the usage was correct. And all of sudden I noticed that crisp had become crispy when it applied to packaged food items.

                                                                              However the deed is done. Potato chips are now crispy and so is most cereal.

                                                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                Cotgrave's dictionary defines French "bressaudes" as "the crispie mammocks that remaine of tried hogs grese". This was back in the olden days (1611).

                                                                                Also, does anyone have a recipe for bressaudes??? They sound awesome.

                                                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                  no....cereal should stay "crunchy" in milk...

                                                                          2. I call them sandwiches or sammies depending on my mood and have done so for the longest. Always using longhand doesn't make you more mature, imo.

                                                                            *Oops. I just used one of those pesky acronyms... :)

                                                                            41 Replies
                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                              zactly. it's language, we're allowed to play with it.

                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                I agree. What I find most offensive is the idea [implemented in France] that a few people sitting in a boardroom get to decide what words enter the language. I do have my pet peeves, but I prefer the democratic approach ...

                                                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                                                  Agreed. You know the French speak vernacular no matter what the language police rule correct. And then, in Israel I understand, it takes language experts to devise a recognized Hebrew word for a new item or concept that requires it. In that case a dead language Hebrew has been revived and is being modified to remain current. I wonder if English words enter the Hebrew vocabulary anyway?

                                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                    well they do in that television is 'televiseeya' and university is 'ooniversita'. Pizza is pizza, there are probably others I can't think of right now but somebody will surely know.

                                                                                  2. re: foiegras

                                                                                    I see nothing wrong with a culture attempting to preserve its linguistic traditions. As sueatmo says, there's nothing stopping people from using popular or regional languages and dialects. But I do see a benefit to having an official, consistent, academic standard, which is carefully curated and maintained, so that this becomes the standard bearer for which regional differences, popular culture, etc. branches out from. Without an established standard and respect for these traditions, you get (for example) American English :)

                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                      Which version should be maintained and preserved? Whose version?

                                                                                      1. re: DPGood

                                                                                        I've never suggested that this system should be applied to American English. But several countries do maintain an academic standard version of their language and that's the one that should be preserved.

                                                                                        Simplified Chinese is a good example of an imposed language shift in which academic standards were ignored. As a result, the language became much more blunt, and the artistry and subtlety of the words, characters and meanings behind them have been lost for a population of ~1.3 billion. The language was devastated. It's an utter travesty.

                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                          1. re: DPGood

                                                                                            I posted too early. Reload.

                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                              So you think English English is something that should be strictly codified and regulated? And American English isn't? And if yes to the former question, who gets to do the regulating and why?

                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                            Re simplified Chinese - as I understand/was taught it, the simplified characters were based to a great extent on cursive versions that had existed for many centuries. I don't agree that it's a linguistic tragedy, rather the opposite since it has rendered literacy more widely attainable because of the simplification.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              "I don't agree that it's a linguistic tragedy, rather the opposite since it has rendered literacy more widely attainable because of the simplification."

                                                                                              Increasing literacy was certainly the intention, but there is no proof that simplification did that. Certainly, Tawian and Hong Kong possibly Singapore are/were using the Traditional Chinese characters and the literacy rates are not lower in these places. If any, higher. Literacy is more related to education and economic.

                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                Fair enough re literacy rates but the (very idealistic I agree) goal was universal literacy and mutual comprehension through the use of Putonghua (Mandarin) as the national language. Still not a tragedy, though. The words mean the same thing and are used in the same ways (more or less, except for regional uses such as in Cantonese) whichever way they're written.

                                                                                                As a student of Chinese, not a native speaker, I am curious if the romance/mystique of the character is perceived more by the learner than the native speaker. For a simple example, the character for "hungry" is of course composed of a word for food beside the word for "I". That's totally cool to realize when you are learning the language, but I doubt it's something Chinese speakers find exciting. Am I wrong in thinking that characters are perceived as unitary words, as in English, with a single meaning, not as radical x + phonetic y, each with their own evocative meaning?

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  Buttertart, although I too am a student of Mandarin, my wife is the native speaker (and my occasional tutor.)

                                                                                                  Although she was a biotechnology major In her undegrad life in Taiwan, her favorite electives were all classical Chinese literature, and she had a particular love for the poems of Li Po. I don't quite know how to explain it precisely, but the characters in classical literature gave her a greater appreciation for the elegance embedded in the characters, even as used in the modern language.

                                                                                                  Sometimes this poetic language shows up in unlikely places, like in the names of dishes on a Chinese restaurant menu. (She'll say to me, "wow, what a beautiful and elegant name for this dish," to which I reply "so what is it?" Her response: "I have no idea. But it sounds beautiful.")

                                                                                                  During the two months we spent traveling in mainland China, we constantly encountered uses of simplified Chinese that she said felt clunky and inelegant. For example, we were in a bank and there was a section for VIPs (business customers, etc.) The Chinese characters on the sign demarcating the area literally translated to "Big House Area". Literally, if you have a big house, it means you have a lot of money, and therefore this area is for you. I don't know if this will translate to non-native speakers reading this, but to her ears this "Big House Area" sounded crude and blunt. Maybe you have to be a student of Li Po to fully get it.

                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                    It's blunt, definitely. In a PRC brusque way.
                                                                                                    I'm not in any way saying that traditional Chinese is not beautiful or not to be cherished. Allusive names for dishes are wonderful as are many other things (even a name for a dish as basic as Dong Po Rou, to bring it back to poetry).

                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                      A high school friend of mine has lived in Taipei City sinced shortly after college. He narried a Chinese girl about 15 years ago. When they were back here visiting his wife told me that when he meets people for the first time in person after speaking with him on the telephone (business calls) they are shocked to learn he is an American. I think he has a knack for languages because I know he is also fluent in German.

                                                                                              2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                So which version of Chinese should have been maintained and preserved?

                                                                                                1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                  Unsimplified characters are still in use in Taiwan, of course.

                                                                                                  1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                    Without a doubt, traditional Chinese should have been maintained and preserved. As buttertart indicates traditional Chinese characters are still used in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

                                                                                                    Chinese characters (the more complex ones) are supercharged with meaning, history, structure and even story. Figuring out a new Chinese character is a bit like decoding a puzzle. Whereas in English we would sound out the syllables and maybe try to find a Latin root for a clue to the meaning, Chinese readers need to look at the unfamiliar character and deconstruct it with various complicated rules and history and keys to pronunciation and meaning (Chinese is filled with homonyms, so the clues in each character define one high toned "Chang" from another high toned "Chang", which in spoken language can only be inferred by context) before they finally can understand the meaning of it.

                                                                                                    This complexity is sometimes confounding, sometimes illuminating. When you figure out a really complicated character there's a bit of a light bulb that goes off and it's very satisfying.

                                                                                                    With the simplified Chinese characters used on the mainland and in Singapore, much of the artistry and the charged meanings of the traditional characters are stripped away. You wind up with a much more utilitarian, blunt edged language (which is easier to learn- that is its only virtue) but you sacrifice much of the poetry and complex beauty of the stories and history that led to the meaning behind the traditional version of the character.

                                                                                                    Further, language reflects how people think and structure their ideas. I know I'm treading on delicate ground here but in my experience with native traditional Chinese learners, there's a more pronounced complexity to the conversations we have. I freely admit that this could be a false correlation, maybe due more in part to the "don't ask too many questions" mindset that the communist government has encouraged over the years.

                                                                                                    So yes, I believe the traditional version of the language should be preserved, maintained and taught, even if people use simplified for everyday life.

                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                              3. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                I see many downsides of a centralized attempt to halt the development of language.

                                                                                                Not the least of which is it encourages a form of pedantic bigotry against those who speak in regional dialects (generally cut off from the more widespread and 'officially endorsed' dialect) by people who are apparently unaware that the very dialect they speak has been subject to the same regional influences and encoded 'mistakes' and deviations from what was at one time 'correct.'

                                                                                                There's also the issue that centralized planning effectively makes language less versatile. And since language is the most powerful and important tool mankind has, any attempts to weaken it should be met with extreme skepticism.

                                                                                                In my mind, that's only a minor jump from making hamburgers our national food and steadfastly maintaining its traditions and techniques - and sorry is the bastard who takes liberties with making a hamburger. You're killing what's beautiful about language (or food) by defining it narrowly.

                                                                                                The best thing you can say about the effort IMO is that it's a bunch of silly bureaucratic nitwits behaving as silly bureaucratic nitwits often do, and no one will pay them much mind anyway. I hope.

                                                                                                1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                  I think you're forgetting something. We're humans. Pedantic bigotry is in our DNA. Regional dialects will exist, and will be discriminated against with or without a governing board of language.

                                                                                                  And what's wrong with setting standards for food? There are plenty of non-AVPN certified pizzerias all over Italy. And quite frankly I'd like to take a gelato paddle to every American ice cream shop that falsely advertises their confections as gelato, simply because it's homemade, smoothed out with a spatula, and sold in metal bins.

                                                                                                  The ultimate result of a lack of established standards (whether it's false gelato or traditional Chinese) is that the people don't really know what they're missing. I see nothing wrong with an official agency whose mission is strictly to inform people-- not to tell them what to do.

                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                    An official agency? For gelato and traditional Chinese? What else?

                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                      "I see nothing wrong with an official agency whose mission is strictly to inform people-- not to tell them what to do."
                                                                                                      ________
                                                                                                      How does that differ from academic study of linguistics and history of language? Because academics primary purpose is study rather than in telling people that they're wrong.

                                                                                                      Sure, their word is non-binding, but it's still backed by their official capacity and a fool's notion of correctness. I see we are both glad they don't have any foot soldiers, so that's good.

                                                                                                      "And what's wrong with setting standards for food? There are plenty of non-AVPN certified pizzerias all over Italy."
                                                                                                      _______
                                                                                                      The same thing that's wrong with setting official standards for language -- the risk that people might take them seriously. Importantly, AVPN is a nonprofit rather than a governmental organization - not exactly an official mandate that traditional foods be made traditionally. Consider instead the German beer law - Reinheitsgebot. Sure it served as a form of economic protectionism, but I'd argue that it did German beer drinkers no favors. It's not like countries who didn't have such a restrictive law completely lost their traditional beer making techniques. Rather, German beer drinkers and makers just had that much less variety to choose from.

                                                                                                      "We're humans. Pedantic bigotry is in our DNA."
                                                                                                      _______
                                                                                                      Credit where credit is due - that's a good retort.

                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                        Don't forget, the preservation of culture and food traditions... the old stuff... is what makes visiting Europe special.

                                                                                                        Our culture is the opposite... ours is an anything goes, no traditions are sacred culture. We were eating Jell-O salads in the 60s, fehcrissakes.

                                                                                                        So in a roundabout way, you've actually made the point that the thing we need more of in this country (and the thing that perhaps Europe could benefit from a little less of) are advocates establishing standards for our best food traditions.

                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                          I have nothing against preserving old traditions. In fact, I'm in favor of it. I have something against doing so from an official capacity while ignorantly insisting that the continued evolution of culinary or linguistic traditions is 'wrong.'

                                                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                            My husband once mentioned to a co-worker how yummy grapefruit brulee is. She responded with, "Oh, that's so eighties!"

                                                                                                            I think good food is good regardless of impressions of which era it may "belong" in.

                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                              I strongly agree with you. I was going to write "I so agree with you" but thought better of it at the last second.

                                                                                                        2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                          Ha! I'll keep my Reinheitsgebot and delightful German beers, unsoiled by rice, corn or other abominations that seem to be the preferred (= cheap) ingredients in other countries not to be named here.....

                                                                                                          and you cats can continue to argue over something I'd personally file under "WGAFF?".

                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                            I'm a child of the American microbrew renaissance. The rules of Reinheitsgebot are far too strict for my sensibilities. If you feel the need to be protected from the seductive evil of wheat beers, more power to you.

                                                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                              Huh? We have plenty of wheat beer in the fatherland. Ales? Meh. I can be a happy camper without them.

                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                Well, the fatherland dropped Reinheitsgebot as an official policy in 1988. Now it's mainly for advertising, which is fine by me.

                                                                                                              2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                I've yet to try anything with "Reinheitsgebot" on the label that wasn't pretty damn fine beer.

                                                                                                                And even my favorite American microbrews state on the label that they *follow* Reinheitsgebot, even if they can't be certified as such.

                                                                                                                makes a difference.

                                                                                                                And yes, I've consumed more than my fair share of fine wheat beers in most of the regions of Germany (mit zitronen, bitte). They're not advertising -- wheat beers can and are certified under Reinheitsgebot.

                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  "They're not advertising -- wheat beers can and are certified under Reinheitsgebot."
                                                                                                                  ---------
                                                                                                                  Yes. Incorrectly. Because it's now mostly used for advertising.

                                                                                                                  I like German beers just fine, including beers that adhere to reingeitsgebot. That's completely beside the point. I'm not saying they were bad. Just that they were limited for no good reason. There are a lot of beers I love that wouldn't fit the official standard.

                                                                                                                  It's not a seal of quality. It just indicates that a beer was made in a specific way. It's a fine way to make a beer, but not the only good way.

                                                                                                              3. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                Reinheitsgebot rules does (did) make for fun seasonal treats like Kolsch

                                                                                                            2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                              But informing people and deciding which words are 'in' and which 'out' are two completely different missions. And how is promulgating an official version of the language not telling people what to do?

                                                                                                              I will take the OED, complete with bootylicious, over the French system any day of the week. I remain unconvinced that a group of academics (or whoever they are) knows what's best for me or the language.

                                                                                                              I am all for beauty, but sometimes straight-forward technical information is needed. It should be as clear as possible. I think there is a beauty in truly useful language, and then there's a somewhat different kind of beauty in literature. I think there's room for both in any language, and any language allowed to evolve naturally will have all the components needed for both, and much more.

                                                                                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                The thing is American English dictionaries are different now. In the first half of the last century they tended to be prescriptive. That is, definitions and pronunciation were given for a term as the term would correctly be used. Now dictionaries are mostly descriptive. That is they record terms as they are being currently used. We've already made the turn away from the authoritative. We'll never go back. The OED is best used to find the history of a word, but it is a fabulous language resource. Do you own a set?

                                                                                                                Academics cannot affect everyday language usage. It is foolish to try. Even though I hate certain usages, I admit that communication does take place most of the time.

                                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                            which is no more a bastard version than Canadian English or Australian English or South African English or New Zealand English (or any other form that I happen to have missed in the list). They're all branches of the same tree, none any more or less legitimate or recognized than the others. I've heard some English spoken in Great Britain that would fall squarely under the "abomination of the language category" -- they're no more protected from mis-usage or butchery of the language than the US (or Canada or Australia or South Africa or New Zealand or anyone else) are PRONE to it.

                                                                                                            And as is touched upon somewhat further downthread, there is a new form of English that is evolving as I write -- there is a new form of English, termed "international English" for lack of a better term -- that doesn't follow the grammatical or spelling norms of ANY other "branch" of English currently existent. It's also legitimate, because it's being invented on the fly by people who need to have a common language with which to communicate with others around the globe. It's pretty interesting stuff, actually.

                                                                                                            While we're at it, let's take a look at French (with different, but legitimate existing forms under Creole, Canadian, numerous countries in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and several former colonies in Africa)....or perhaps Spanish (different, but legitimate existing forms in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain, regional differences across Mexico, as well as across the South American continent).

                                                                                                            Whose version is the original? Whose is correct? (the Academy Francaise says it's theirs -- but is it really?)

                                                                                                              1. re: pattisue

                                                                                                                But, to be fair, I hardly think the Academy Francaise has missionaries converting people in the Bayou to Parisian French...

                                                                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                  are you sure? :)

                                                                                                                  They've failed miserably, by the way, to make people use Academie rules in day to day language when there's another, more commonly-used word available-- one of the more spectacular recent fails was when they tried to implement "courrier electronique" -- literally 'electronic letterr' for 'email', which would then be allowed to be shortened to 'courriel'.

                                                                                                                  But what word do my French IT friends use, and all of my French colleagues? Email.

                                                                                                    2. YES. Thank you. I blame Rachel Ray, too. I mentally deduct my IQ estimate of anyone who uses it. ;-)

                                                                                                      1. What about sandos? I've been noticing that a lot of peopple like to say sando's, but never heard it before 2010. I like it a lot more than sammie.

                                                                                                        28 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: chocomel

                                                                                                          I'm okay with shortening nouns in an informal setting. Sarnies is my sandwich diminutive of choice, though I will use the others depending where I'm posting/talking. I would likely not ask what kind of sarnies we were having for lunch at a business meeting, however.

                                                                                                          And FWIW I don't think we can blame RR for sammies and neither does the OED: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definit...

                                                                                                            1. re: chocomel

                                                                                                              "Sando" is the way Japanese people say sandwich.
                                                                                                              But there is only one instance where I don't mind hearing the word "sammie."

                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                      nobody else could take the sunshine and sprinkle it with dew like him.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                        Someone should create a sandwich recipe called the 'Sammie' Davis Jr!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Billy33

                                                                                                                          What would a Sammie Davis be? Any thoughts?

                                                                                                                          Great Entertainer.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Billy33

                                                                                                                            A Sammie Davis Jr. would be something like Kosher pastrami on black rye.

                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                And I want it. Now! Cubbards are lean, save for the duck and cheeses.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                  Not Cubbards, Cuburds. And their not lean, there bear. Geez!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                                                    You and I would play an interesting game of Scrabble...!!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                                                      @DPGood - it's amazing how hard that last bit was to read because even though the words you used were phonetically correct, my brain found them hard to read because visually, they weren't the right words. I actually had to read it out loud.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: DPGood

                                                                                                                                        There's a bear there, in their bare cupboard?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

                                                                                                                                          A bear! A bear! All black and brown and covered with hair!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                      ROTF!!

                                                                                                                                      You made my day with that one!

                                                                                                                                      Touche!

                                                                                                                                      Edit: This was meant for Tripeler's sammie

                                                                                                                                    3. re: Billy33

                                                                                                                                      Someone did! Just don't expect Pastrami or an open faced short rib meal...

                                                                                                                                      http://www.appleannieskitchen.com/con...

                                                                                                                                    4. re: chocomel

                                                                                                                                      Well, my husband calls them "sand wedges" and my son calls them "sangwiches", but they're doing it for comedic effect- does that make them retards or language butchers?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                        when it's done for laughs and they know the proper word and use it other than when they're trying to make you laugh, then it's just for laughs and outside the scope of this one (until they've done it 500 times and you just throw the sandwich at them in frustration)

                                                                                                                                        In South Florida, you hear them called sanguiche (sangweechee)-- which is the Spanish twist on the word -- not really butchery, but a hybrid word (sometimes called Spanglish -- it's not correct in either language, but everybody understands it)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                          I would say they are playing with language.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                            Oh yes they are. Pete and RePete, I call them. They both sing and whistle in the shower, too. They're pretty cute, actually.

                                                                                                                                            Sunshine, I'm going to adopt sanguiche for my very own thanks to you. I'm one with Spanglish. That way I get my own comedy sandwich name. In western Mexican Spanish I think it's pronounced sangweechay based on the spelling.

                                                                                                                                            I wonder if young son picked up sangwich from the sandwich restaurant he worked at for six years. Now that I think about it, of course that's where he picked it up. I never said I was a quick study...

                                                                                                                                        2. re: chocomel

                                                                                                                                          what's with the extraneous apostrophe?