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Old 08-20-2010, 09:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fuk U Starbux!

Quote:
An English professor's stubborn refusal to use a coffee chain's terminology has struck a chord around the world. But why are brands so keen to impose their jargon on us?
So, you fancy a coffee. Will that be a caramel macchiato, a double Americano or a white chocolate mocha Frappuccino?
Do you want decaf or regular? Skinny or full fat? Tall, grande or venti?
Ordering a hot beverage used to be straightforward. Now it is turning into a cultural battlefield.
The explosion in coffee chains has meant that Britons who would no sooner consciously learn Italian than cultivate their own arabica beans are finding that terms like latte, barista and con panna are now an integral part of their everyday discourse.
But the first rumblings of a backlash are under way.
English professor Lynne Rosenthal has become a cause celebre after she was thrown out of a New York branch of Starbucks cafe by police for clashing with staff over the wording of her bagel order.
The academic had wanted a plain, toasted multi-grain bagel but said she became infuriated when the server insisted she use the phrase "without butter and cheese".
According to Prof Rosenthal, the exchange proceeded thus: "I yelled, 'I want my multi-grain bagel.'
"The barista said, 'You're not going to get anything unless you say butter or cheese.'"
It seems a bafflingly trivial incident for both parties to get exercised over, and the fact that none of Starbucks' staple product was involved in the contentious order makes one wonder what would have happened had Prof Rosenthal had the temerity to ask for a small white coffee.
But much as we all like to insist that branding has no impact on us, chains clearly would not insist on such precision if they did not believe that terms like "regular fries" generated more revenue than "small chips".
Susie Dent, the resident lexicographer on Channel 4 quiz Countdown, points out that plenty of brand-speak has successfully wormed its way into the English language
She notes that Renault's "Va-va-voom" and Ronseal's "Does exactly what it says on the tin" entered the dictionary after tapping into the popular consciousness - but that sometimes companies which try to impose their buzzwords heavy-handedly very often misjudge their audience.
"I think most of us resolutely stick to small, medium or large; wouldn't we feel too self-conscious to refer to a 'barista'? I would," she says.
"It is every company's dream to get their language out there and being used - it's linguistic product placement. And so the Manhattan scene probably was a reaction, albeit an extreme one, to the jargon imposed on us."
Of course, the purpose of the using language in this way is to burrow into the consumer's subconsciousness with one's own concepts and values.
Brand consultant Jonathan Gabay says carefully-chosen language can make a difference to consumers, but only if it is used subtly.
"The idea is that it's about more than just buying a cup of coffee - you're part of the club, using this supposedly sophisticated language, doing something a bit different," he says.
"The problem is when it's too heavy-handed and and the staff are effectively saying, 'Computer says no.' Marketing is ultimately about communication and some of these companies need to put down the guide books and remember that."
Nonetheless, there is undoubtedly method in Starbucks' approach.
Tony Thorne, King's College London's former language centre head, now a language and innovation consultant and the author of several slang dictionaries, says companies like Starbucks have appropriated the kitchen slang of 1920s New York diners to convey their message of authenticity and good taste.
However, he believes the impact of such marketing techniques is insidious.
"Some of this stuff is ludicrous in its complexity," he says. "They're not trying to turn us into food snobs - it's simply about imposing their brand values.
"It's intended to bamboozle and intimidate. I see it as a form of corporate bullying."
For their part, Starbucks have insisted that there "are no rules and customers have always been able to ask for drinks any way they want".
That'll be an ordinary white coffee over here, then. Hold the froth.
BBC News - The lexicography of Starbucks

I'm on board. Fuck the stupid "order it our way" bullshit. "Small," "medium" and "large" have been sufficient for ages.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Starbucks is a fascinating example of corporate manufactured culture, especially since they're so venti.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Fuck that burnt coffee place.

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah fuck them. It is kind of comical watching them try to add an air of sophistication to what essentially is a fast food coffee chain. Oh look pictures of famous authors and bad jazz music playing over the sound system, I can sit here and write my screen play, drink my my tall-caramel-skinny-mocha-frappacrappio and nobody will care what a pretentious snot head poser I really am. OOOH 3 day old panini sandwiches, HEAVEN!

Give me a large black and shut up. No one's impressed anymore starbucks, most people are just annoyed.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Starbucks is brilliant: They somehow convinced the masses to spend $2.50 on something they used to get for $.59.

On the rare occasion that I go into a Starbucks, I always order a "medium". I say it with the look of "I fucking dare you to correct me."

[snark] Perhaps they'll have to change their naming convention when English gets passed as the national language? That's reason enough to vote for it in my book![/snark]
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I work at a local owned coffee chain... Dazbog

We use small, medium, and large.



If it pisses you off so much... find a local shop to go to.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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...or drip-filter it at home. Hell, french-press it.

It's not as if terminology is part of the problem. If you stumble into a Starbuck's, you're profit.

If you stumble into a Starbuck, it might be my son, so be polite.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't do Starbucks, for two reasons--first, they are ridiculously over priced, and second, because of the froo froo ambiance they try to infuse into a cup of joe. The local coffee shop I frequent on occasion doesn't subscribe to the Starbuck marketing ploy. However, I have noticed quite a few independent shops that do.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah I always frequent the little lunch counter down the street, the rude waitresses and dirty coffee mugs are a much better ambiance in my opinion(I'm actually serious about that). Besides the coffee is cheap, wakes you up and tastes great along with a plate of biscuits and gravy while trying to fight off a hangover.

I haven't stepped foot in a starbucks since maybe when I was in college and they invited jazz bands from the university to come over and play...man those were shitty gigs.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What I never liked about Starbucks was actually going there to sit and drink. It's like sitting in a retail store instead of a cafe because they have all that crap they try to sell.

Oh, and they "Jack Johnson" you (i.e. overplay song lists).
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Oh, and they "Jack Johnson" you (i.e. overplay song lists).
Hahah... the modern, more emo equiv of being Rick Roll'd?
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've only been to Starbucks twice in my life, cuz I grind and make a far better fresh brew at home and save TONS of cash.

For those who hope to meet someone at their local Starbucks - that's a whole other story. Good luck BTW. I got mine at home and he loves my Joe!!!!
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hahah... the modern, more emo equiv of being Rick Roll'd?
See, this is the thing. I find it saccharine rather than emo.

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The Mellow Show with Jack Johnson
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I do have to admit that we do "pride" ourselves on the fact that we DON'T use Starfucks terms.

But because we are Russian owned... You must join the Party...





(inside joke... sorry)
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Overpriced, burnt, what awful coffee..
I DRIVE UP TO McD, SMALL REGULAR $1.06 NO BULLSHIT...
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:49 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Overpriced, burnt, what awful coffee..
I DRIVE UP TO McD, SMALL REGULAR $1.06 NO BULLSHIT...
ew.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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if i can't make my own, i do dunkin' donuts...

honestly, is there a better tasting commercial coffee?
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I don't know what brand they brew.
Back in the day when I was hustled coffee & danish at Plate's Bakery,
we served Eight O' Clock coffee.

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Old 08-20-2010, 04:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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the great atlantic and pacific tea company...
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:48 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I make better coffee at home and have more fun doing it. Coffee through a Syphon pot is the ultimate way to control and fine tune your brew.

As for the article, the woman was making a big deal out of nothing. If she didn't want butter or cream, just fucking say it, don't make a big deal out of it.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:13 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I love the coffee at McD's it is far superior to the shit they serve at Starbucks. I will go to another coffe shop and take it into the Chapters in the mall and sit in Starbucks and read, it's great.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:35 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by uncle phil View Post
if i can't make my own, i do dunkin' donuts...

honestly, is there a better tasting commercial coffee?
Dunkin Donuts does make a mighty good cup of joe, for a fast-food franchise outfit.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:42 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I used to have a local shop that I went too, but if I want coffee now, I do like Wes does. Local dinner coffee with extra crispy hashbrowns and eggs. I drink like... 3 cups of coffee a year, so most of the time I'm drinking coffee for the "OMGCAFFFEINEISAWESOME" effect more than the taste. I just want to put as much of the black ooze into my belly as I can as fast as possible.

Southern sweet tea wakes me up in the morning just as fast as coffee does and doesn't need to be hot.

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As for the article, the woman was making a big deal out of nothing. If she didn't want butter or cream, just fucking say it, don't make a big deal out of it.
This is AMERICA! It is my flag-waving right to get pissed about my #1stworldproblems and yell AS LOUD AS I WANT. If you don't like it, then GET OFF MY LAWN.... I mean GET OUTTA MY USA.

/sarcasm
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:49 AM   #26 (permalink)
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...fast-food franchise outfit.
Well, since we're acknowledging things... what does that make Starbucks?

They serve a la carte "gourmet" muffins and soggy plastic-wrapped truckstop sandwiches.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:16 AM   #27 (permalink)
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This whole situation is completely shocking. A barista goading an overly anal customer to the point of outburst? An English professor getting upset about diction and treating a lowly customer service employee like a wayward grad student? Petulance in a retail setting?

I don't use Starbuck's nomenclature, nor do I use the nomenclature of any other eating establishment. When I go to taco bell, I don't order no damn "burrito", I say "Give me one of those chicken, bean in a tortilla-ey thingies." When I go to Olive Garden, I don't order no hoity toity "spaghetti with meatballs," I say "Give me a plate of stringy processed wheat mixed with some reduced tomato paste. And put some balled-up, baked, seasoned ground meat on top too, bitch." And if any of their employees dare correct me, I throw a hissy fit and don't leave until I've been tazed at least three times.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:21 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Petulance in a retail setting.
So good.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:23 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I'll be your mutherfucking huckleberry.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:28 AM   #30 (permalink)
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motherhuckle fuckenberry
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:28 AM   #31 (permalink)
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In an elevator?
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:20 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Most people who drink at Starbucks are in denial about being members of the proletariat.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:40 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Most people who drink at Starbucks are in denial about being members of the proletariat.
+1
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Old 08-22-2010, 04:16 PM   #34 (permalink)
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This thread just reminded me it is coffee time. I'm a coffee snob and would rather drink my urine than digest the swill starbucks call coffee. If you have to add 'flavouring', there is something fucked up with your coffee!
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:11 PM   #35 (permalink)
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forget about coffee and just snort coke.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:09 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Most people who drink at Starbucks are in denial about being members of the proletariat.
... and should be strung up with a proto-lariat.

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:32 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Where the fuck do you guys live anyway? McDonalds is better? Local chains are better?

Not in Seattle. And the local chains sure as hell aren't any less costly. I can't speak for the fancier drinks, but as far as regular old drip coffee goes, I've yet to find anything that surpasses Starbucks. Especially that made-over "Roy Street" branch.

And I have a hard time finding some difference in atmosphere between these and the local stores that I could give two shits about.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:17 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Where the fuck do you guys live anyway? McDonalds is better? Local chains are better?

Not in Seattle. And the local chains sure as hell aren't any less costly. I can't speak for the fancier drinks, but as far as regular old drip coffee goes, I've yet to find anything that surpasses Starbucks. Especially that made-over "Roy Street" branch.

And I have a hard time finding some difference in atmosphere between these and the local stores that I could give two shits about.
It's just as trendy to hate Starbucks as it is to support it.


Nuff said.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:36 PM   #39 (permalink)
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trends, schmends...it's what you like, not what you think everybody else wants you to like...

sheesh...
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:49 PM   #40 (permalink)
 
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i just find starbucks to be boring, the brand-speak unnecessary and the coffee not that great. and the food is like the stuff you get in an airport. actually, it is the stuff you get in an airport. i don't know how centralized their distribution is...it's possible, particularly if it's highly centralized, that they suck less in seattle. just as a place to go and pay too much for food that's not great and coffee that's mediocre in an atmosphere that sucks ass.
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