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The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu (repost)

Posted By: libr
The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu (repost)

The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu by Dan Jurafsky
English | 2014 | ISBN: 0393240835 | 272 pages | azw3 | 1,8 mb

What do the chewy coconut cookies I know as macaroons have to do with the French almond cookies called macarons? Is it just a coincidence they have practically the same name? A misunderstanding? Stanford linguist Dan Jurafsky not only explains the relationship between the two, but shows how macaroni is also related, linguistically speaking.

The Language of Food is a collection of long essays about the linguistics, origins, and usages of words having to do with food. Each chapter covers another way in which food and language combine to reveal quite a lot about who we are and who we were. As humans, we really only need a few words and a few foods to sustain life, but we've managed to turn both into entertainment, and even art.

Along the way we get to learn how we came to "toast" an occasion with alcohol (it actually did involve toasted bread at one time) and how ice cream was invented. There are discussions on how the language of menus differs from a hundred years ago and on how marketers invent brand names for food items.

Jurafsky keeps a casual tone while divulging a massive amount of information. I believe this is his first book for a general audience, and hope there will be more.