The Language of Food - A Linguist Reads the Menu

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9780393240832: The Language of Food - A Linguist Reads the Menu
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In The Language of Food, Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky peels away the mysteries from the foods we think we know. Thirteen chapters evoke the joy and discovery of reading a menu dotted with the sharp-eyed annotations of a linguist. Jurafsky points out the subtle meanings hidden in filler words like rich and crispy, zeroes in on the metaphors and storytelling tropes we rely on in restaurant reviews, and charts a micro-universe of marketing language on the back of a bag of potato chips. The fascinating journey through The Language of Food uncovers a global atlas of culinary influences. With Jurafsky's insight, words like ketchup, macaron, and even salad become living fossils that contain the patterns of early global exploration that predate our modern fusion-filled world. From ancient recipes preserved in Sumerian song lyrics to colonial shipping routes that first connected East and West, Jurafsky paints a vibrant portrait of how our foods developed. A surprising history of culinary exchange a sharing of ideas and culture as much as ingredients and flavours lies just beneath the surface of our daily snacks, soups and suppers.

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Review:

Why is the entree served in the middle of the meal instead of when you 'enter' it? Why would anybody put a feather in their hat and call it macaroni? The Language of Food answers these questions and teaches so much more about a vast wing of our everyday vocabulary that we so seldom stop to think about. --John McWhorter, Associate Professor of linguistics at Columbia University, contributing editor for The New Republic, and Time magazine columnist"

This book won't put dinner on the table but it just might improve how you order in a restaurant. --The Times

[a] hugely entertaining book --The Independent

About the Author:

Dan Jurafsky is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" and a professor of linguistics at Stanford University, where he studies social and behavioural linguistics.

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