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chankonabe

per "se"

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yes, and you'll get "great service" and "good value" as a result.

this thread has made me wince every time i see quotation marks now, even in perfectly ordinary context. :wacko:


Edited by mike_r (log)

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When the servers discuss the menu with "guests," I hope they make "air quotes" motions with their fingers as they name each dish.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Well, the spate of quote abuse does point to a deficiency in standard written English-- lack of an irony mark.  When there is not enough context to allow a reader to infer a less than literal intention, how should a writer try to convey a less than literal intention?

Like any literary device, irony becomes tiresome when overused. I think quotes work just fine for this purpose, but the Per Se menu has abused the custom, and now it's just a joke.

Then we need two marks, one for irony and one for overused irony.

And who among us has NOT wanted to abuse customs, only to hold back for fear of taking three days to enter the country?

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My favourite misuse of quotation marks is on a small ad I have pinned to my bulletin board which reads:

SKY DIVE

from a

"perfectly good airplane"

I think this one might actually be appropriate. Both of my grandpas were in the Army Air Corps and talked about parachute practice as "Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane." Maybe the instructor was just trying to make an army reference/joke.

Anyway - back on topic...I've ordered items from menus just because of the quotes. :sad: I know, don't encourage them, but when I go to a Mexican restaurant and see everything served with just salsa, and then see a menu item served with "salsa" I figure why not try something different. Of course, it usually comes out with regular salsa, not "salsa." (And, no. I don't know what "salsa" would be)


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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We used to use quotes on our menus and then it started to get out of hand. Now we have a strict "no-quote" rule on new menus. Somehow we get by with commas, semi-colons and the occasional exclamation point.

I still love French Laundry though, Per Se not as much. MM


Michael Mindel

Vice President, Marketing

Il Fornaio Restaurants & Bakeries

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I think I've figured out their modus operandi. The "quotes" are part of the "fat" of the English language. By poaching the words portraying the "menu items" in the verbal "fat," the dining experience is enhanced. (in theory)

Guess who picked up his copy of "Charcuterie: The Craft of Smoking and Curing" today?

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