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mushrooms (Re: Intergermansk - Pizza packaging text :D)

From:Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Monday, January 31, 2005, 23:25
On 1 Feb 2005, at 2.58 am, Gary Shannon wrote:

> --- Tristan McLeay <conlang@...> > wrote: > > <snip> > >> Hmm... that's another odd one, AFAIK, all mushrooms >> are edible, because >> if they're not, they're not mushrooms. Something >> seems fishy in the >> land of fungi. > > In English there are many poisonous mushrooms, so the > term "mushroom" is definitely NOT restricted to edible > mushrooms.
Ray's posted a message which seems to agree with me.* I suppose this is a case where Commonwealthish/Non-North-American English differs from (North) American English, but to me, there's always been fungi (a very generic term, more like 'plant' then 'tree') which have comprised many subvarities, in a non-technical sense, including mushrooms (being edible, umbrella-shaped fungi) and toadstools (being poisonous umbrella-shaped fungi). If we wanted to categories mushrooms and toadstools together without using 'fungus', I'd probably call them all toadstools---I'd rather imply they were all poisonous than that they were all edible. We often had toadstools growing in our backyard and claimed that fairies sat on them ... they were normally too small for a toad, if you ask me. *: Ray wrote:
> Generally in this neck of the woods: mushroom = edible fungus; > toadstool = > inedible fungus. But I have come across the use of _mushroom_ to mean > any > fungus of umbrella shape, whether edible or not. IME an inedible fungus > not shaped like an umbrella would not be called a mushroom.
(I'm not sure if Ray means to imply that toadstools are not necessarily umbrella shaped here, but to me they are. But the basic gist is the same: mushrooms are edible, toadstools are not.) -- Tristan.


Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>