Tonight! The Language of Food: A Bernal Heights Linguist Reads the Menu

DanJurafsky

Oh hey, did you catch that article in the dining section of yesterday’s New York Times about Bernal Neighbor Dan Jurafsky, and his new book on the linguistics of food?

I read the article over my morning coffee, but I didn’t know Dan lived in Bernal… until he reached out to me later in the day. Turns out, Dan Jurafsky is a celebrity neighbor! Love that.

Neighbor Dan’s new book is called The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu, and he’s doing a reading TONIGHT at 6:30 at the fabulous Omnivore Books at Cesar Chavez and Church in (scandalous gasp!) Noe Valley.

Neighbor Dan says:

I’m a Stanford professor and Bernal resident coming up on 10 years on Winfield street near the Esmeralda slides. Just letting you know that my trade book from Norton, “The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu” just came out this week and I’ll be talking about it at Omnivore Books in Noe Valley on Thursday night 9/18 at 6:30.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

Why do we eat toast for breakfast, and then toast to good health at dinner? What does the turkey we eat on Thanksgiving have to do with the country on the eastern Mediterranean? Can you figure out how much your dinner will cost by counting the words on the menu? In The Language of Food, Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky peels away the mysteries from the foods we think we know.

Bernal and SF figure heavily in the book, from the SF history of Green Goddess dressing Pisco Punch, and Peruvian food to the tamales at La Oaxaquena, to showing how the meaning of the word “entree” has changed over time by analyzing some of the wording on menus of Bernal restaurants, to the linguistic significance of the rich Cantonese vocabulary for smells.

Sounds very tasty. Congrats, Neighbor Dan!

PHOTO: Dan Jurafsky by by Bernal photographer Kingmond Young

One thought on “Tonight! The Language of Food: A Bernal Heights Linguist Reads the Menu

  1. My sister, who is a linguist and foodie living in Santiago, Chile, posted about this book the other day on facebook! The next time she’s in town. Small world, sort of…

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