False Advertising on Diner Menu

October 18th, 2009 by Bob Bly

My wife and I met another couple at a diner for breakfast this morning.

I had eggs and Amy ordered the short stack of French toast.

When her order arrived, it was a single piece of French toast on a plate.

Merriam-Webster Online defines a stack as “a pile” or “a large quantity or number.”

By definition “one” of anything cannot be a pile or large quantity.

I know this seems like another one of my nitpiks.

But this is what happens when Americans do not learn to use the language properly.

In this situation, what would you do?

A–Send it back and ask for a regular stack.
B–Tell the diner owner of his error.
C–Laugh it off and eat the one piece of French toast.
D–Other.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 18th, 2009 at 12:57 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

24 responses about “False Advertising on Diner Menu”

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  2. Steven Pam said:

    D. Blog about it

  3. ingrid said:

    i think that i would inquire. then ask to see the manager. all very nicely presuming i wanted my single piece of “stacked” french toast… and gently suggest that they change the name on the menu.

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  9. John W. Furst said:

    Interesting. I assume the owner of the diner respectively the writer of that menu is a poker player.

    Def: “Short Stack” := “A player {poker} with a very small number of chips compared to the rest of the players.”

    (A) Would have sent it back; looked at what the others got served and changed my order accordingly.

    Yours
    John

    PS: Some facts

    Literacy in the United States
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_literacy_rate

    A five-year, $14 million study of U.S. adult literacy involving lengthy interviews of U.S. adults, the most comprehensive study of literacy ever commissioned by the U.S. government, was released in September 1993. It involved lengthy interviews [...] study showed that 21% to 23% of adult Americans were not “able to locate information in text”, could not “make low-level inferences using printed materials”, and were unable to “integrate easily identifiable pieces of information.”

    A follow-up study by the same group of researchers using a smaller database (19,714 interviewees) was released in 2006 … studies assert that 46% to 51% of U.S. adults read so poorly that they earn “significantly” below the threshold poverty level for an individual.

    During the same period, the World Factbook prepared by the CIA claimed that the United States had a 99% literacy rate, based on census data.

    Cuba has a reported literacy rate of 99.8%, #1 in the World, Fact or Faked?
    Russia 99.5%
    USA 99.0%

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  15. Lou said:

    Do (A), and (B). Then show your blog posting with these attendant comments about the situation to him. Finally, mention you would have preferred to write a complimentary blog post with the actual name and location of his diner and a comment about how delicious the french toast was.

  16. John Mcknight said:

    I’ll go for choice B. You really need to talk to the owner or the manager. Well, it’s your right, as a customer, to question their menu or servings.

  17. S.P. Gass said:

    C… depending on how hungry I was.

    If a stack of firewood has ten logs and you take nine way, how many are left in the stack? Or does the stack no longer exist?

  18. Bob Bly said:

    SP: The single log exists, but by definition, it is no longer a stack.

  19. Ken Norkin - Freelance Copywriter said:

    Was it at least a thick slice, perhaps twice as thick as typcial bread? I’ve seen that in some diners. They might get away calling one thick slice a short stack.

    But if what she got was a regular old slice of bread, then I’d do a combination of A & B. I wouldn’t necessarily tell the manager/owner there was an error. Rather, I’d ask with obvious surprise if their short stack is really just one slice or if the order delivered was incorrect.

    I’m not sure, but I think the menus in most diners I go to are pretty specific about the quantities you get — at least the number of eggs, pancakes, links of sausage or strips of bacon.

  20. Elizabeth said:

    I’d inquire and probably send it back. I wouldn’t insist that a stack be a large quantity; the “short stack” of pancakes at IHOP is only three. But I’ve never seen a “stack” of pancakes offered on a menu without a specific number listed. Did the menu at your diner not specify what a “short stack” of French Toast was?

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  23. Sheds said:

    As a customer, you could ask for what you’re money deserve. I’ll go for A and B. Ask for a regular stack and tell the owner of his menu error. You could actually do both cause your a customer. Just take an initiative to correct them to avoid misleading other customers.

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