Affix dinners

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Francois Lang wonders "Will this restaurant offer a Suffix Dinner next week?

And after the exotic Infix Lunch and the justly famous Clitic Breakfast, there are many other possible Morphosyntactic Menus: the the Suppletion Special, the Allomorph Aperitif, the Conjugation Collation,  …



  1. Bobbie said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

    Sorry, but the joke only works with the pronunciation of Prix Fixe. (Unless there is a linguistic phrase that sounds a lot like "A la carte"

  2. Matt said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

    Allocart: A trolley used for tea service in the afternoon and dessert in the evening.

  3. Bruce Rusk said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

    Bilingual Canadian snack bars offer collation services.

  4. Lenguaist said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

    "Clitic Breakfast," oh my.

    You … dirty linguist.

  5. Francois Lang said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

    This is from the front window of

    Parker's Classic American
    4824 Bethesda Avenue
    Bethesda, MD 20814

    and is visible on the "street view" of Google maps if you search for

    Parker's Classic American, Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, MD

  6. michael ramscar said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

    is it one of those joints that only does appetisers?

  7. Ben Zimmer said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

    In the Eggcorn Database.

  8. SCF said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

    saw this written on chalkboard outside Uncommon Ground, Devon Ave, Chicago a few weeks back — probably quite common eggcorn.

  9. Q. Pheevr said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 10:54 pm

    Sounds lovely. I'll have a root beer with mine, please.

  10. Gene Callahan said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 11:03 pm

    @Bobby: "Sorry, but the joke only works with the pronunciation of Prix Fixe."

    What do you mean, Bobby? "The joke" is that the restaurant substituted the grammatical term for the French term. Mark now wonders if they will have other grammatical term meals. There doesn't need to be a restaurant term for the other grammatical terms!

  11. Gene Callahan said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

    My thought when I see this common eggcorn is that the food was prepared already before you got to the restaurant.

  12. Chris C. said,

    February 4, 2014 @ 11:17 pm

    I suppose if I were to order a simple word salad, it would be far too déclassé for this establishment.

  13. Roger Lustig said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 12:29 am

    Sign's been there for at least 4 years, too. By now I bet they can't imagine getting rid of it, like the oddly placed apostrophe in the name of the mail-order clothing store Lands' End.

  14. M.N. said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 12:46 am

    Root beer? Make mine a Quantifier Float.

  15. Jeff said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 1:30 am

    Now serving corn on the cob, roasted corn, cornbread, sweet corn, and eggcorn.

  16. Martin said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 6:26 am

    Interesting. In the UK, I have only ever seen this type of menu referred to as a set menu. Is prix-fixe the dominant term in the US?

  17. D-AW said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 8:30 am

    At the end of these three courses, one might say "Bon, ça suffix."

  18. GeorgeW said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 9:57 am

    If one were to ask for a substitution, presumably the response would be "sorry, no suppletion."

  19. D.O. said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    There is quite a number of people who use the term "hyphenated American" without a trace of irony.

  20. Michael said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 11:48 am

    Or it could be the meal you have before you get your daily dose…

  21. Gene Callahan said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

    @Martin: "Is prix-fixe the dominant term in the US?"

    Yes, I have never seen "set menu" here at all. But the mangled form of "prix-fixe" seen in the sign above seems to be overtaking the original form! There is even a "French" restaurant in my neighborhood that uses it!

  22. Brett said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    When I was in Corsica, I was initially confused by the English-speaking waiters referring to a "menu" (or perhaps "set menu") as a fixed sequence of courses for a given price. It took me a couple meals to cotton to what was meant; ironically, as an American, I would have instantly recognized the French term, but the English translation they were using left me confused.

  23. Lazar said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 4:56 pm

    Another culinary usage difference is that "entrée" refers to a main course here in the US, but elsewhere refers to an appetizer.

  24. Mark Dowson said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

    @brett "Prix Fixe" rarely appears on the menus of restaurants in France. The usual term for a fixed price meal (including tax and service) is "Menu" as in
    "Menu du jour 36eu" or "Le Menu Gastronomique 150eu". So no translation was going on – but there was an incorrect assumption that "menu" being common to French and English would have the same semantics for a French or English speaker

  25. dw said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

    It's a pretty expensive "pre": $99.29 per person!

  26. Derek said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

    For what it's worth, I'm American and have never heard of a "prix-fixe" menu. I didn't understand the sign at all until I read the comments. (I have also never heard of a set menu, though I'm familiar with the concept)

    @Lenguaist: The correct phrase here is "cunning linguist."

  27. Sili said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 7:06 pm


    Interesting. In the UK, I have only ever seen this type of menu referred to as a set menu. Is prix-fixe the dominant term in the US?

    I've seen the term in Southern England. As it happens only after I first read about the eggcorn.

  28. Neil Ren said,

    February 5, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

    seems like we are making advertisements for that restaurant.

  29. Lane said,

    February 6, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

    I see "prix fixe" misspelled more often than I see it spelled correctly, I think, and for several years now I've been noticing and looking actively. There are also a large number of ways to get it wrong. Each has a kind of funny logic:

    Prix fix. (Apparently rhyming)
    Prix fixé (very common–hey, it's French, right?)
    Pre-fix (the price was fixed in advance so you don't have to worry about it)

    I used to take pictures of all these but I lost my old phone and the pictures…oh but hey, there's a Tumblr!

  30. Bobbie said,

    February 9, 2014 @ 10:39 pm

    Gene Callahan, I got the joke. I would hope there would be restaurant terms for other grammatical terms. It would be fun.

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