Re: Europiccola question
- From: "alan" <in_flagrante@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 15:00:57 -0700
"Donn Cave" wrote
Quoth "alan" <in_flagrante@xxxxxxxxxxx>:
| The linguistic history of the word "espresso" is an odd one, and perhaps a
| unique one insofar as it involves an apparently emotion-laden revisionism
| which denies its application to the process by which it was originally
What does "boat" mean?
Should we review the Old English usage of "bat" to see exactly what
they meant, and that settles it?
Perhaps I'm really dense, but I fail to see how your discussion of the word "boat" has anything to do with the issues surrounding the word "espresso". As far as I know, there's been no suggestion that the word "boat" , due to current progress in marine technology, cannot still be applied to that which had been referred to as a "boat" hundreds of years ago. Yet, there very definitely IS a feeling that the word "espresso" should not be used to apply to that which had been produced by an older, steam pressure driven system.
A wooden-hulled skiff, propelled by oars, is still uncontroversially known as a "boat", and owners of fiber-glass hulled 200 HP propeller driven versions do not not seem to be at all disturbed by the fact that the word "boat" is used to refer to both versions. That's why the case of "espresso" seems to me to be unique. It is the only word I know of where there has been a movement to retroactively change the meaning and to reserve its use for that which is produced by an improved, superior technology.
Since retroactive and revisionist determination of meaning is counter to observed natural linguistic development, it's my thought that it is the result of a concerted effort on the part of a small group of people (perhaps manufacturers of pump-driven machines?) to co-opt the term and to discredit the earlier technology. I would bet that the current shiboleth against using "espresso" for steam-driven machine products did not appear until after the the introduction of consumer model pump-driven machines in the early 70s, and as a means to help convince folks of the difference between the two technologies. Hyperbolic declaration that steam-driven "espresso" is NOT "espresso" would seem to be an excellent marketing ploy. It would be interesting to trace the beginnings of this phenonomenon . . .
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