Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Journalist vs. the Linguist

This picture is from the menu of a regional chain restaurant. I chuckle every time I see it.


Who would order just three (3) cheese balls? That certainly doesn't seem like very many - unless they are unusually large cheese balls.

Or is it "three cheese" balls?

The journalist in me tells me that the menu writer was correct in following the AP rules that specify spelling out whole numbers below 10.

The linguist in me tells me that if the menu writer had used a hyphen between the words "three" and "cheese" he or she would have avoided the bracketing paradox that makes me chuckle.

[[three][cheese balls]] or [[three cheese][balls]]

THREE-CHEESE BALLS

4 comments:

OHN said...

Could I please stick you in my back pocket for those times when I am horribly stuck on what is right vs what is wrong?

I, comma, way, too, much. ;)

Wordacious said...

You are too kind OHN.

And better too many commas than even one apostrophe.

Lorelei said...

What did the apostrophe ever do to you? lol

The pale observer said...

I love dissecting menus like this!!! They are always riddled with errors. :)

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