Dining out in Ire-land

Just an update on my previous rant (see Busman's Holiday) about the spelling and grammatical errors found in many restaurant and cafe menus.

I mentioned the outrageous abuse the poor old panini (or panino if we were to use the Italian spelling - panini is the plural of panino) comes in for. Well, we have a new winner folks. On a recent trip to Belfast, a pub menu offered diners "Sandwiches, Baguettes, Pannis".
Of course, there's always the chance this traditionally outfitted pub was paying homage to the home of the panini by naming its own version after the town of Panni, found in the Apulia region of southeastern Italy.

But worse was to come as I ventured back to Dublin. Stopping off in lovely Skerries for fish n' chips by the sea, I perused the menuboard of Marconi's Takeaways for something tasty. It seemed those who were thirsty could avail of a "bananna" milkshake. Now this was not printed on just a flimsy bit of paper, but permanently set in inch-high lettering on the fluorescently-lit signboard above the counter.

This error is not only the responsibility of Marconi himself, but also of a fairly slack signwriting company. Mistakes that shout out across the room like this show why it can be a good idea to hire a professional copywriter to check your text before it goes to print; whether it's simply to enhance your reputation, or to avoid a costly reprint.

After spending 10 minutes sorting out errors in our food order, I hadn't the heart to ask why "bananna" had not been corrected. Perhaps they're thinking, as my mother always said about broken biscuits, it'll still taste the same.


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