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August 24, 2006

peterme's pedant corner: coffee shop/coffeehouse

I'm a words guy. And as a words guy, I'm easily rattled by verbal misuse. I get that language evolves and all that, but I also respect the power of words to communicate concepts clearly.

Anyway, this morning the SF Chronicle featured the headline "Coffee shop's name has Standard & Poor's in a froth.". The place in question, Standard and Pours Coffee and Stocks, is not a coffee shop, but a coffeehouse.

As Merriam-Webster states, A "coffee shop" is a small restaurant. Typically, a diner-like restaurant, roadside eatery, basic American fare, as these examples attest.

My fight, however, is in vain, as a Google search for "coffee shop" demonstrates the language has shifted towards gourmet coffee, with links to Starbucks, starting your own espresso business, and the like.

Posted by peterme at August 24, 2006 08:29 AM

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