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Quick Write 100311 “Retort pouch curry”

I learned a new word this morning, so let me share the episode with you all here. An English teacher that I follow on Twitter asked a question “When was the last time you ate any kind of curry?” to her English language learning followers. How would you answer the question, QWF visitors? When I read the tweet, I soon recalled that I’d had a ready-made curry and rice for lunch last Saturday, so I replied to her like “I had retort-pouched curry for a quick lunch last Saturday.” In retrospect, I kind of wanted to avoid using the adjective “instant” for my tweet probably due to the sense of guilty that I had for having done with quick and easy food for weekend lunch. Then Clarissa, the English teacher who asked us the question, kindly taught me that I should’ve said “bag-in-curry” because the word "retort" with that meaning exists in English, but it's a food industry word that almost no regular speakers understand. Oh, I didn’t know that, Clarissa. I appreciate your input.

Then I thought, “Is the expression ‘retort-pouch(ed)’ so uncommon?” After I got home from work, I googled “retort pouch”, and got about 325,000 results, one of which is from Wikipedia. Wiki says that “A retort pouch is a plastic and metal foil laminate pouch that is used as an alternative to traditional industrial canning methods. A pouch is a bag with 3 or 4 wide seals, which can store liquid within. Some varieties have a bottom gusset and are known as Stand-Up Pouches.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retort_pouch) Oh, well, it seems that the expression does exist. Then I went to New York Times website, search for “retort pouch” and got no result. Okay. Then I went to TIME which has rich Science section, searched for the word, and ended up obtaining two seemingly relevant articles, but got no direct results. It looked like what Clarissa told to me. Finally, I consulted my always-there-for-me tutor Merriam-Webster. com to know if the dictionary contains the word, and if so, how it is described. It turned out, I found their definition that “a flexible package in which prepared food is hermetically sealed for long-term unrefrigerated storage”. Yeah, that’s exactly the way I see the word. And M-W also says that the word was first used in 1977, which means it’s a rather newly invented word thanks to the advancement in technology.

My very small scale research has yet to give me the full conviction that regular English speakers won’t use the word “retort (pouch)” and the word is so uncommon among native speakers of English in general, but what I do know now is that I should say “bag-in-curry” instead of “retort pouch curry” to describe my quick and easy lunch without any sense of guilty.

(30 minutes / 465 words)

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Aya

Author:Aya
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。