Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 10:00:42 EST
From: Arnold Zwicky zwicky[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]LING.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Subject: Re: mangoes=peppers
Rima McKinzey rkm[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]slip.net 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]ling.ohio-state.edu), who was shocked many
years ago on first being offered mango pizza