Monday, 27 July 2009

I Would Drink It...

By Edwin Tan (c) 2009

Ok, so I had two other possible titles for this post. The first one was: "Why Starbucks Should Be Shot". The obvious reason being that not only have we been seduced by the sweet taste of their over-priced, caffeinated beverages, but also by their corporate, trademarked lingo. I don't know any other cafe that makes me decide if I want a “Tall”, “Venti” or “Grande”. Yet I still have to describe my drink size in some random Anglo-Italian fashion because the people at the counter don’t quite understand what “small” or “medium” means. I mean seriously....”Tall”? Surely “Tall” would imply something that is, well, tall. Like, “The Eureka tower is tall”. You know...the opposite of short. And “short” means “small”. And why is it in English when the other sizes are in Italian? And why are they using “Venti” as “medium”? Doesn’t “Venti” mean “twenty” in Italian (vague memories of grade two Italian flooding back)? Like what the? No, but this rant isn’t about the weird name choices for the sizes of Starbuck drinks. Nor is it about the fancy drink names, the ridiculous prices or the fact that I have to always repeat my name at least twice before they can write it correctly on the cup. It’s about how their lingo has pervaded into the innocent minds of the public – so insidiously that Starbuck branded words appear as clumsy Freudian slips in our everyday conversation (as depicted in this cartoon). Have we become brainwashed zombies of the Starbucks regime? My grande, low-fat, soy, green tea frappuccino blended crème with chocolate sprinkles says probably.

The other possible title for my post was: “Asians Say the Darndest Things”, because the person who called their “fettuccine carbonara” a “frappucinno” was an overseas visitor from Singapore. But hell, it’s easier to blame a faceless, multi-billion dollar corporation for our poor language skills.

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