Bilingual breakdown

June 16th, 2009
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“3 course prefixed lunch for $25″ - 

Recent restaurant ad in the Calgary Herald

The Belvedere restaurant has been a high-priced watering hole for a number of years, long known for its carnivorous offerings. One might order a 12-ounce striploin only to have it arrive on a bed of oozing beef ribs surrounded by a whiff of potato and hint of vegetable. Its upper-end prices have attracted a certain clientele, and not always what one would expect. Mrs. Dr. J and I had the experience of sitting next to a fighting couple there, with the charming lady dropping a string of f-bombs. In between the expletives she sent her steak back twice. One can imagine what they did to it in the kitchen…

So I couldn’t help noticing the brutal Stupidism above in one of their ads. Things are tough all over and restaurants are trying to attract today’s thriftier customer. Guess they were also saving on proofreaders. With all the effort on bilingualism over the last 40 years, you’d think somebody might know the difference between “pre-fixed” (which sounds like those shrink-wrapped sandwiches at the diner) and “prix fixe” – a multi-course meal at an all-inclusive price. Maybe they should have asked the Made Her Dee.

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By John Weissenberger