Over at the New York Times, they’re discussing waiters and waitresses who use stilted restaurant talk and the comments are kind of great:
I heard, for example, from two fellow restaurant critics, one at the Times. And both had funny, interesting remarks that I wanted to be sure to share.The Times critic, Alice Gabriel, reviews restaurants in Westchester County for subscribers in that area.“I made these notes toward a longer piece on peeves a month ago,” she wrote, before going on to share the notes, printed here with her permission:Problem: Waitpersons who need clarification on the proper use of pronouns. A waitress recently returned to my table shortly after delivering appetizers and — I’m not making this up — asked solicitously, “What are we thinking?” Well, I couldn’t in polite company respond, but I did have to wonder, what was SHE thinking?I also heard from Dana Craig, the critic for the Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch. The e-mail had a fun idea, appended to a funny anecdote:Have you ever thought of doing a similar article about restaurant’s excuses when things go wrong?” the e-mail said. “I’ve had quite a few laughable explanations for every mistake under the sun. Recently, I was at a high-end seafood restaurant here in Richmond … My lobster was so heinously overcooked, I couldn’t keep a straight face when the manager asked if I was ‘enjoying it.’ I pointed out the mess on my plate, and he said, ‘Well, we’ve been having trouble with lobster tonight because there’s a math convention in town.’ Then he left. Math convention? That was one of the greatest. A cloud of derivatives and logarithms hanging over the city apparently impairs proper shellfish preparation. Anyway, just thought I’d share.
Speaking as someone who spends far too much time in restaurants… This sounds kind of familiar. Definitely.
Language Barriers [NYT]