Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: USAGE: Words for fungi (mushrooms/toadstools/champignons/etc)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 1, 2005, 22:11
On Tue, Feb 01, 2005 at 04:02:18PM -0500, Mark J. Reed wrote:
> We seem to be agreed that there is a general, broad category called "fungi" > (singular "fungus"), which includes both umbrella-shaped and > non-umbrella-shaped, edible and inedible varieties. > > We are further in agreement that edible umbrella-shaped fungi are > "mushrooms".
Hmm. To me, "mushroom" may also include non-parasol[*] fungi fruiting bodies as well, as long as they are "close enough" in shape. E.g., chanterelles are trumpet-shaped, yet I'm sure most people would agree they qualify as "mushrooms". [*] Non-umbrella-shaped. <ObConlang> In Tatari Faran, chanterelles are called _pireis_ ["pi4ejs]. There's also a kind of giant edible mushroom in Fara, like the giant version of the portobello, called _buneis_ [bu"nejs], growing up to 3-4 feet in diameter, and really delicious in gourmet cooking (at least so claim the san faran). Must have something to do with the fertile volcanic soil. ;-) </ObConlang>
> Past this point, disagreement sets in. Inedible umbrella-shaped fungi > are most commonly considered "toadstools", but some use either > "mushroom" or "toadstool" to refer to all umbrella-shaped fungi > regardless of edibility. (Hm. Does anyone use the terms completely > interchangeably?)
I avoid the term "toadstool", since it's inaccurate and carries the wrong connotations. I use "mushroom" for all parasol fruiting bodies of fungi, as well as fungi that are "close enough" to being parasol shaped. So I'd consider chanterelles and morels as mushrooms, but puffballs and sulfur shelves I'd just call fungi unless I qualify what exactly I mean by "mushroom". (And truffles are just... truffles. :-P) Also, a technical nitpick: there aren't any umbrella-shaped fungi that I know of, although there are lots of umbrella-shaped fruiting bodies of fungi. :-) Although we usually think of a mushroom as an individual, complete fungus in and of itself, it is very common for a single (underground/embedded in wood) fungi to produce many mushrooms at the same time. Hence, you often see mushroom patches with clumps of mushrooms. Mushrooms are to fungi as apples are to apple trees. The fungus itself, if you could see it, is just a hairy blob of fibres, like mold.
> Is there any general term more specific than "fungus/i" to > refer specifically to the non-umbrella-shaped varieties, or to > edible/inedible varieties regardless of shape?
[...] I don't know of any, although some mushroom fans like myself like to stretch the word "mushroom" to refer to all fungus fruiting bodies. :-) T -- Microsoft is to operating systems & security ... what McDonalds is to gourmet cooking.


Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>CHAT Re: USAGE: Words for fungi (mushrooms/toadstools/champignons/etc)