End of ADS-L Digest - 21 Nov 1995 to 22 Nov 1995 ************************************************ There are 10 messages totalling 275 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. "Dining Hall" 2. /w/ and /hw/ (2) 3. The Automat (5) 4. PC Language 5. An apology ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 22:38:42 -0800 From: "J.Russell King" Subject: "Dining Hall" >"Dining hall" always worked for me. If nothing else, it's two >syllables shorter than "cafeteria," which is an advantage for a >word you use a lot. This is veering away from political correctness back to more strictly linguistic area, I suppose, but I was struck by this post and the ones that prompted it. In my own personal lexicon, "cafeteria" connotes a place where the offerings are individually priced: a fish filet is $2.25, a dish of green beans (or string beans) is 55 cents, a carton of milk is 40 cents, a pat of butter is three cents. The patron chooses individual items and is charged accordingly. Where the patron is served a set meal at a set price, even if he picks up a plastic tray and stands in line to be served, is not a cafeteria, nor is a place where one picks and chooses among numerous offerings but is charged the same total price no matter what. Thus the place I ate in grade school, where there were no choices, you ate what the little old hair-netted ladies dished out, was not a cafeteria, it was the "lunchroom." When we got to high school, and could choose the 55-cent hamburger or the 75-cent chicken fried steak, it was a "cafeteria." And then in college, where we could choose the hamburger or the chicken fried steak or the yogurt, but whatever we chose it was going to cost $1800 a year regardless, it was the "dining center" or one of the "dining halls" or "dining rooms," not a cafeteria. In the commercial context, the Furr's and Luby's chains (or the greatest of all, Bryce's in Texarkana) are "cafeterias," but I'd never refer to the elaborate "hot food bar" setups at chain steakhouses and the like as a "cafeteria"; generically, they are "buffets." Is this how-you-pay distinction not inherent in others' understanding and use of the term "cafeteria"? (And then there are the Korean delis which offer a slightly more noodle-oriented version of Ponderosa's hot food bar except you pay by the ounce instead of a set price -- a system that falls outside either "cafeteria" or "buffet" in my language.) Curious. JRKing deputy news editor The New York Times