Friday, July 31, 2009

Quick Service or Fast Food?

So today I was in town, and I stopped to eat at the fast food joint. You know, burger, fries, Coke. Must be about the only fast food joint within 60 miles of my home.

Sitting at a table and eating, I noticed a little postcard sized survey had been slipped in between the salt and pepper shakers. "How often do you eat at a quick service restaurant?" Ummmm, say what?!

"How would you compare this quick service restaurant to other quick service restaurants?" Hold on, hold on, what in the world is a quick service restaurant?

Oh, okay, I get it... "quick service" restaurant is a euphemism for "fast food" restaurant. See, if we say "fast food," that conjures up connotations of fast, greasy, low budget, nasty, plasticized food.

Whereas if we say "quick service"... well, "quick service" is surrounded by no such malodiferous cloud of connotations. Mainly for the reason that, before this poll was concocted, nobody in the history of the English language had ever heard the term quick service restaurant before.

Euphemism: a change in words, neologistic, like pulling the carpet out from beneath the other person's feet.

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