Linguistic troll IRL
Posted: 17 August 2010 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.news.com.au/business/english-professor-lynne-rosenthal-ejected-from-new-york-starbucks-over-linguistic-dispute/story-e6frfm1i-1225906022106

This person sounds like a walking kidney stone. The staffer just wants to do his job, follow procedure, and get the hell out of there at the end of the shift: he doesn’t need this shit.

[ Edited: 17 August 2010 01:40 PM by OP Tipping ]
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Posted: 17 August 2010 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yeah, I’m not sure why the media is running with the linguistic aspect of this; the woman is simply a garden-variety jerk (though perhaps, uh, troubled as well).  How has this story become so prominent?

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Posted: 17 August 2010 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Bad reporting by the Post. The issue has nothing to do with linguistics, grammar, or being a “stickler” for correct English.” She’s just an asshole.

I get annoyed by the Starbucks “grande/venti” lingo. I can never remember which is which. But I’ve never complained about it. (Then again, I don’t go to Starbucks much. The coffee isn’t very good and definitely not worth what you pay for it.) But specifying a plain bagel doesn’t seem onerous to me, especially since most people order something on top.

And you do have to tell the servers at Burger King what you don’t want on your burger. They don’t come plain unless you ask.

(Edit: I think LH nailed it. She probably is “troubled.")

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Posted: 17 August 2010 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Imagine being one of her students. I wonder what school she’s at.

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Posted: 18 August 2010 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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And who goes to Starbucks for a bagel, especially in NYC?  (That said, I wish people who don’t like Starbucks coffee would say “I don’t like Starbucks coffee” rather than “Starbucks coffee is no good,” which is, if you think about it, insulting to those of us who think highly of it and consider ourselves fully qualified coffee aficionados.)

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Posted: 18 August 2010 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Ah, but I contend that I’m linguistically correct here. “Good” is a normative judgment. “I don’t like Starbuck’s coffee” and “Starbuck’s coffee is no good” are equivalent, albeit not identical, statements. You can disagree with either; in both cases you’re disagreeing with my judgment.

(Actually, I don’t dislike Starbuck’s coffee. But I think there are a lot of brands that are better—or, I prefer a lot of other brands.)

As to why she was buying a bagel at Starbuck’s, she said she came in to use the Wi-Fi and thought she should purchase somethings. And evidently she’s a tea drinker.

This HuffPo article takes it even further. “Fascist” and “Orwellian” are thrown around.

She has a Ph.D. from Colombia and teaches at Mercy College in New York.

(Edited typo: content/contend)

[ Edited: 19 August 2010 03:09 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 18 August 2010 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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"Ah, but I content that I’m linguistically correct here. “Good” is a normative judgment. “I don’t like Starbuck’s coffee” and “Starbuck’s coffee is no good” are equivalent, albeit not identical, statements. You can disagree with either; in both cases you’re disagreeing with my judgment. “

The listener would get the same information, but the former carries with it an implied acknowledgment of subjectivity that the latter lacks. Some people may think their coffee assessments are objective, universal (nowt queer as folk): choosing the first reassures the listener that the speaker isn’t in that set.

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Posted: 19 August 2010 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yes, you can say they’re equivalent all you like, but the form you chose carries an unavoidable and (I would think) undesirable air of claimed superiority of judgment.

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Posted: 19 August 2010 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Dave Wilton - 18 August 2010 08:01 AM

“I don’t like Starbuck’s coffee” and “Starbuck’s coffee is no good” are equivalent, albeit not identical, statements. You can disagree with either; in both cases you’re disagreeing with my judgment.

(Edited typo: content/contend)

I don’t see how they’re equivalent.  The one is a purely personal prejudice and the other is a value judgment.  I can disagree with you about whether Starbuck’s coffee is good but I can’t disagree with you about whether you like it.  I could, for example, say that I don’t like baklava but at the same time admit that it is good.  I just find the sweetness too overpowering.

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Posted: 30 August 2010 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What Faldage just said.

(And if that person were my professor, I think I’d change universities. Any institution that would employ as “Professor” a creep whose hobby is bullying Starbucks employees, is not an institution I’d much care to learn anything from.)

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Posted: 30 August 2010 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’m not sure I’d be so judgmental on the strength of a singe example. What are the other professors like? Perhaps she’s the exception, the one crank who makes everyone question the wisdom of the tenure system.

And (I don’t think this is the case, but you never know), perhaps she is the tops of her field and an excellent instructor, but has this one unfortunately personality quirk.

Nor can we tell whether or not she really believes the line about this being a linguistic issue. Newspaper reporters have such a horrible record of accurately reporting on linguistic (or really just about any technical or sophisticated issue), that passing judgment on media reports is dicey. (She probably is a crank, but we can’t be sure.)

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Posted: 03 March 2011 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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She may have seen Five Easy Pieces:

BOBBY
Wait, I’ve made up my mind. I want
a plain omelette, forget the
tomatoes, don’t put potatoes on the
plate, and give me a side of wheat
toast and a cup of coffee.

WAITRESS
I’m sorry, we don’t have side
orders of toast. I can give you an
English muffin or a coffee roll.

BOBBY
What do you mean, you don’t have
side orders of toast? You make
sandwiches, don’t you?

WAITRESS
Would you like to talk to the
manager?

PALM
Hey, mack!

BOBBY
(to Palm)
Shut up.
(to the waitress)
You have bread, don’t you, and a
toaster of some kind?

WAITRESS
I don’t make the rules.

BOBBY
Okay, I’ll make it as easy for you
as I can. Give me an omelette,
plain, and a chicken salad sandwich
on wheat toast—no butter, no
mayonnaise, no lettuce—and a cup
of coffee.

She begins writing down his order, repeating it
sarcastically:

WAITRESS
One Number Two, and a chicken sal
san—hold the butter, the mayo,
the lettuce—and a cup of
coffee… Anything else?

BOBBY
Now all you have to do is hold the
chicken, bring me the toast, charge
me for the sandwich, and you
haven’t broken any rules.

WAITRESS
(challenging him)
You want me to hold the chicken.

BOBBY
Yeah. I want you to hold it between
your knees.

This seems too obvious.

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Posted: 03 March 2011 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Ha!

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