** The Language of Food by Dan Juraksy


The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu explores restaurant menus, as the subtitle implies, but also the etymology of ketchup (Chinese!), why potato chips cost more when plastered with negative markers (“never fried”), how entrees arrive in the middle of American meals but at the beginning of French ones (and it’s not a lost in translation problem!) —  and many many tales of words related in ways we would not suspect (bread and lord/lady, for instance).

No chapter avoids the (apparently unconscious) food snobbery of the urban San Franciscans — but still an entertaining set of stories.

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