Saturday, April 09, 2011

Looking up acronyms and pretending to be pretentious

Looking up acronyms

Many of the abbreviated expressions were exaggerated misspellings, a stock in trade of the humorists of the day. One predecessor of OK was OW, "oll wright," and there was also KY, "know yuse," KG, "know go," and NS, "nuff said."From "What does "OK" stand for?" The Straight Dope"

It was a simple enough question. I asked it on Facebook a few days ago. About something that has puzzled me for some time. "Why do Americans put heaps of "throw cushions" on beds when they are never used?"

It elicited this answer, "Colour, Kate. And the feeling of luxury that cushions bring. They are a PITA at bedtime."

Huh? "PITA"? WTF does "PITA" mean? I almost LOLed. Instead I looked it up in Urban Dictionary and found it means "Pain in the Arse".

Of course I'm none the wiser. I still don't know why Americans put cushions on beds when they are not to be used. For color? I don't THINK so. Why not simply hang them on walls. Or better still, buy a Joan MirĂ³ print. And where are you meant to put them when you go to bed? On the floor? Seems I'm never going to know.

But the non-answer did make me think. About looking up acronyms that is. I don't mind looking up a real word when I am not sure of its meaning, but an acronym?
Next there'll be dictionaries for icons. Take the floppy disc icon for "save". There's a debate going around the internet as to whether to keep it or not. Suggestions for all sorts of images to replace it have been put forward. I even read somewhere the suggestion of a damsel in distress icon...

Pretending to be Pretentious

We'd had nothing but a salad and dry bread in a hour and a this true, Italian-leisurely dining? I seriously doubt it. From "Poor service...we were sadly disappointed - a review of Mario Batali's Manzo, New York
If you want to pay a lot of money for poor service and mediocre food I must recommend "Manzo" in Eataly. It's noisy, cramped and the waiters are arrogant. Or perhaps they are only pretending to be.

We didn't complete our meal. I sat with my "Arista" (I had to look it up - there's a culinary guide on the last page of the menu) while my husband waited for his antipasto to arrive. Too cool to write anything down, the waiter had incorrectly memorized the order and so I sat, eating alone. I put a bit of badly chopped fennel on my bread plate so Jo had something to accompany the Simboli Riesling - which at $44 for the bottle compared favorably with the value for bucks of the food.

We'd been at Manzo for about an hour when the first course arrived. The spaghetti al dente was al hard and when my husband complained he received not a replacement, not an apology, but rather an argument from the maitre de. We decided to leave. Why throw good money after bad? By this time we'd been there about one and a quarter hours. We were both hungry. We asked for the check. And got ... another argument. $128.17 is after all a bit to pay for a meal when you have to go elsewhere to actually eat.

After much fuss  the guy in charge agreed ... we only had to pay for the wine. At $88 I suppose we should have should have been relieved.

It was raining and dark as we made our way to the subway.

Thank you Manzo! What was meant to a pleasant evening in New York on my husband's last night here for two months - he's commuted back to OZ - was a complete disappointment.

I haven't had such bad service and waiter arrogance since I dined at Toto's Pizza restaurant in Melbourne Australia, a hundred years ago.

Stay tuned.


nautiaussie said...

Oh, how sad on Jo's last evening, but sadly that seems to be the norm from wait persons and restaurants in general. My particular peeve is when the 12 year old waiter saunters over every 10 minutes and asks "Everything 'right with you guyses?", "All done, guyes?". As I have been biting my tongue and trying not to slap him, I have been left behind with the eating process, so Jim's plate gets cleared and I am left eating.......well, alone. Throw pillows on the other hand are great for throwing out, as they definitely ARE a PITA!!

Anonymous said...

Yep, you'd think that with jobs hard to find, the service might improve. I love it when someone says, "You guys still working on this?" Fer chrissakes, I'm old enuf to be your grandfather, I'm not a 'guy' and I don't 'work' on my food. Believe me, we seek out restaurants who provide good service. And I'll be damned if I'll pay thru the nose for crap wine. Soooo, the food at our house is infinitely better. Tonight we had mussels and an NZ Sauv Blanc from the Trader, a baguette from a boutique bakery and a great butter lettuce salad. um. Sounds like NY has no better service than the rest of the Hew Hess. Wonder how Sydney is these days?

Vanessa said...

"Why do Americans put heaps of "throw cushions" on beds when they are never used?"

The answer is: Pretentsiousness. You answered your own question.

Restaurants - boy have you had a string of bad luck with these. First the cell phone incident and now this? If I were you I would invest in a Zaget Guide. For what it's worth, this kind of snotty, unforgivable, pretentious dining experience rarely happens in Queens.

Perhaps it is time to take a Ferry Across the Mersey.

Recommendations available upon request.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your unpleasant dining experiences. :-( I prefer less formal, cheaper, friendlier restaurants myself. It seems that the higher the check, the more arrogant and nasty the wait staff is.

Throw pillows? None at my (American) home. Lots of pillows around on beds and couches, but I only buy comfortable bed pillows that can actually be used.

I've been referring to others (regardless of age or gender) as "guys" for the past 60-some years. Sometimes I substitute "folks" but these terms are relatively equivilent, both somewhat more personal than "people."

4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle said...

Love it! Nodding away at the throw cushion comment, it seems to now have become an integral part of every American movie, the scene where the couple stands in the bedroom chatting while they remove 57 throw cushions from the bed. The ultimate though, is the teensy tiny throw cushion in the centre of the bed with the couples name stitched in to the centre. Noice.

Love the blog.


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