Thursday, August 14, 2008

Language

I see that Mt. Shasta Brewing has won a short legal battle with the fun-hating bureaucrats at the ATTTB. The ATTTB (apparently on the say-so of one employee's interpretation of the somewhat vague and arbitrarily enforced regulations; sound familiar?) told MSBC, which bottles their beer under the brand "Weed", which is the name of the town where the brewery is located. MSBC put the legend "Try Legal Weed" on their bottlecaps, and the ATTTB said that was a drug reference. And 420 isn't? Wiser 'heads' (hee hee!) prevailed, and the ATTTB backed down before the dispute went to trial.

Anyway, my real issue here is the use of the term "alcoholic beverages" in the story. I don't like it. I know, in the dictionary "alcoholic" has a definition of "containing alcohol." But ask most people what "alcoholic" means, and they'll start telling you about their uncle who drinks too much...and that kinda means that an "alcoholic beverage" is something an alcoholic drinks. I don't like it.

How about "alcohol beverage"? We call other soft drinks "fruit drinks" and "juice drinks," not "fruited drinks" or "juiced drinks." I write for a couple industry mags that insist on the term "alcohol beverage" instead of "alcoholic beverage."

Of course, I'd just as soon use the catch-all term "booze," even though some people think it's silly. Booze is so much easier than writing "beer, wine, and spirits" or "alcohol beverages" or "fermented and distilled beverages." It's a perfectly good word, and like Randall in "Clerks II," I'm taking it back. I'm gonna be using "booze" for that reference from now on. I refuse to let the New Drys define the discussion.

7 comments:

Tom E said...

I definitely prefer "booze" to "alcohol beverage". I think that most people are so used to hearing "alcoholic beverage", that if you say or write "alcohol beverage" you're calling attention to it. Why did he say "alcohol beverage" instead of "alcoholic beverage"?

Booze is more conversational and informal, which to me is just how a discussion about booze should be.

http://destinationbeer.blogspot.com/

sam k said...

I understand your intent here, but I've always associated the word "booze" with liquor only. After all, the term derives from the name of a pre-pro liquor dealer, doesn't it? Booze on, my friend!

creamaledrinker said...

Wow, I didn't think they worried about such things in "Northern" California... I found this article that I read recently in the New Yorker quite interesting. (Ref. to N. CA) http://xrl.us/DrKush
Any chance your attending the Flour City Brewfest tomorrow?Should be fun... They will also be introducing 2 new Rohrbach beers at the fest...

Steven said...

When a friend was in Germany, consulting for his home company, and saw "beer machines" (yes, like soda machines here in the states), in the factory's break room, he told the foreman that OSHA would never allow that in the 'States. The foreman asked, "Allow what?" "Alcohol in the work-place." The foreman snorted a laugh and said, "That's not alcohol, that's beer."

Maybe we should just call it "beer" from now on, leave the "alcohol" to the Schnapps!

S.Johansen said...

Lew,

I haven't commented in quite a while. Fantastic Clerks II reference. I thought I was the only one who saw that movie.

Lew Bryson said...

Sam,
Google up, brother: booze comes from German/Dutch origins, and predates Prohibition by...about 350 years. And it just means drinking...alcohol beverages. The noun grew out of that.

Lew Bryson said...

Glad someone picked up on the reference. Cathy and I watched the DVD last week. I remember when we went to see it in the theater; for the first fifteen minutes, she and I were the only ones who laughed. Then the rest of the audience loosened up, and we all laughed our butts off.