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CHAT drinking soup: (was: Malat (on behalf of Garrett))

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Monday, December 7, 1998, 7:48
At 10:32 pm -0500 6/12/98, Jason Hooper wrote:
>(I am sending this on behalf of Garrett, whose outgoing email is >currently experiencing technical >difficulties. He currently still receives email) > >Mathias M. Lassailly wrote:
>> *I drink food* : no good (except for metaphore). Why ? Is it because >food is no drinkable liquid ? Or rather is it that you've never >experienced (heard) that you could *drink* food ? (Japanese can *drink* >soup). Logics or semantics issue ?
_I_ can, and often do, _drink_ soup. One doesn't have to go to Japan. Over here in little ol' UK we can do both! If the soup is served in a bowl or soup-plate and we use a (soup) spoon, then we say we're eating the stuff. But if the _same soup_ is put into a mug then we drink it (even if we may have to use a teaspoon [I believe they're known as coffee spoons in sime parts of th Anglophonre world] to consume all the little more solid bits :-) I think the difference is essentially not so much the vessel but whether the spoon is the only the implement we use or whether the spoon is either not used at all or merely used to get to those little bits we didn'y manage to drink. I'm sure that if the bowl I used was one of those the French use at breakfast for their coffee. hot-chocolate or whatever, which one then picks up & drinks from [I have such bowls and sometimes use them the same way for breakfast coffee :-) ] then I have no doubt I'd be _drinking_ the soup.
>Well, over here, i'm going to make drink and eat the same word. Is there >a necessary distinction? The equivalent in english is implied by what is >actually consumed (food or liquid).
Not so easy - it's not always, in Brit.English at least, simply whether the food is solid or liquid - it also _how_ it's consumed ;) Logics or semantics? Idiom, it seems to me - the things that make natlangs so confoundedly tricky and yet gives them piquancy & stops them being boring. [...]
>> I like poetry. > >I don't like poetry myself...
Tut, tut. The first literature of many cultures was/ is poetry. Myself, I love poetry - good poetry stretches language to its very limits and, sometimes, meseems even beyond the limits to reveal new possibilities, new landscapes, new horizons......
>> Language is not a long equation to me.
Nor me either. Ray.