Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fun with the English Language: An Idle Thought

I'm sitting here in my office playing an online game of chess, waiting for my opponent to make the next move.

An idle thought just occurred to me. So in English, we have words for all three meals ("breakfast", "lunch", "dinner"), but we don't have words for all of the meals that are between these meals.  Think about this:

If a meal occurs between breakfast and lunch, we call it "brunch."

But what about a meal that occurs between lunch and dinner? Shall we call it "dunch"? Or maybe "linner"?

And how about a meal that occurs between dinner and breakfast? I know that we usually call it "supper" or "midnight snack", but that doesn't quite cut it. If we are going to follow the rules that we did with "brunch", shouldn't we call it "dreakfast" or "binner"?

Things like this make me feel that English is a very idiosyncratic language...

Some food for thought (pun totally intended), don't you think? 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Nobel, I love all kinds of language games and playing with words. When I worked with the Scottish guys we used to laugh at how we used English words differently. For example, in the UK, they use the word trousers for what we call pants in the US. And pants in the UK are underpants. So you can imagine how much mileage they got out of that one word when I would say something like, "I don't think I will wear pants today."