Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 10:00:42 EST


Subject: Re: mangoes=peppers

Rima McKinzey rkm[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] asks:

Ok, now I'm curious. If there are all these folks who call green peppers

mangoes, what do they then call mangoes? And do they call other bell/sweet

peppers that aren't green also mangoes?

to the first question: "fruit mangoes". the culturally marked item gets

more linguistic material

to the second question: at least in central ohio, yes. folks who have

lived here all their lives seem genuinely puzzled by "sweet pepper"

(and, unless they're serious gardeners, by "bell pepper"). but

though most mangoes are green, some are red or yellow.

my partner is deeply averse to sweet peppers, and he's also pretty

nearly deaf, so the task of ensuring that restaurant food is free

of sweet peppers falls to me. this is exceedingly difficult, because

there's no way to guess at the linguistic experience of servers

(and, then, it sometimes turns out that they don't know what's in

the dishes they're serving anyway). i usually start by asking if some

dish has peppers in it, not hot peppers, but sweet peppers (providing

a hint towards what "sweet pepper" means). if that doesn't work, i

ask about mangoes and green peppers.

arnold (zwicky[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE], who was shocked many

years ago on first being offered mango pizza