The Size of Things

I did say I would use my blog for having a rant or, as I like to put it, a chunter about things that annoy or bother me.  And as it has been dominated by music lately, I thought it was time for something else.

Am I the only person who is annoyed with the way sizes of things are named these days?  Let me give you an example – imagine you are going to the cinema, as they are some of the worst culprits.  You go to the refreshments desk and look what you want. Maybe you fancy some popcorn so you look at the board and see the sizes – Regular, Large or King Size.  Whatever happened to small, medium and large?  Drinks are the same, at the cinema, takeaway restaurants and many other places.  Do people in a marketing office somewhere really think we will be put off buying the smallest size they sell if they are actually honest enough to call it “small”?  Even worse is when they call the smallest size medium, or call something medium when there are only two sizes.  The word medium means “in the middle”, so by definition if the size of something is medium there has to be something smaller than it and something larger than it available.  Is a bit of accuracy and correct usage of words too much to ask for?

And even if you can put up with the names of the sizes, you are faced with one of the other banes of modern life.  “Would you like to go large for an extra 30p?”.  Since when did the phrase “go large” enter the English language?  And why do they ask the question as though they are offering you a special deal you might not have been aware of?  I am more than capable of looking at the prices and seeing that a medium costs 30p less than a large and ordering it because that is the size I want.  If I wanted large, I would ask for it in the first place.  I know upselling is encouraged in retail catering outlets, but when it is presented in this way it is simply irritating.  If I go into the pub and order half a pint, I would not expect the landlord to say “Would you like to go large for an extra £1.50?”.  No, they give me credit for reading a price list and deciding what I want to purchase.  A courtesy that it appears some places are unwilling to grant me.

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3 Responses to The Size of Things

  1. rickiej says:

    I’m with you on this one; back in the dark ages when I used to go to Starbucks for their disgusting coffee I refused to call it what every ridiculous names they have and just insisted on medium.
    Having said that I don’t like it in America when I have to ask for a small beer rather than half pint – and they don’t always do a small.

  2. ianbraisby says:

    Me too! Always asked Starbucks for small, medium or large. Don’t go there anymore unless it’s the only option, the only true benefit to Starbucks I ever found was on my solitary visit to America – almost everywhere I went to eat or drink, I was presented with several additional choices for almost every ingredient (one day I had a “set breakfast” in the hotel and was asked seven supplementary questions by the waiter) but I could walk into Starbucks and order exactly the same as I had in Birmingham and get no confusing follow-up queries.

    • rickiej says:

      Forgot to say I havent been to Starbucks in years, I was bought up on independent (Italian) coffee shops in Bedford which still has no Starbucks. I’m really proud of the fact that I went to Starbucks three times in my whole time in New York, only late night as they were still open & only as my ‘friends’ dragged me. I had to pass several of the dreaded things every day on my way to ‘my’ coffee shop!

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