Bill Bryson once referred to this demand to overspecify whenever you want food. Asked if he wanted latte or whatever else it was, he replied: “Just a coffee.” I seriously detest the word “latte’ because it’s an Anglo-Saxon inverse attempt at style, which is styleless.
When I’m in Italy, I’ll ask for whatever the term is for the chocolate or coffee, in France I’ll ask in their language but I’m sure as hell not going to play this pseudo-exotic language game with some local lad or lass in my own country. The only two exceptions will be espresso or cappuccino because those terms are now universal.
The Starbucks story is a case in point and one commenter added, below:
Far from being a ‘non-story’, it’s very much a story. Dang sure I don’t change my language to suit some commercial outfit when I have perfectly good words – woody words, at that – which have served their purpose admirably for years. To be ejected by the Police for refusal to decline cheese and butter is quite remarkable. It says a lot about how the Police are viewed these days too.
For those of you who adore corporate doublespeak, like to think inside the box, tick boxes and never push the envelope, herewith is rolled out just the widget for you. Think of it as service delivery.