The Language of Food


Guests: Dan Jurafsky and Sybil Yang

[From the Radio Times archive] When most of us look at a restaurant menu, we’re just trying to decide what dish to order. But Stanford University linguistic professor DAN JURAFSKY likes to pore over the menu, studying the words used to describe the appetizers, entrees and desserts, the sounds they make, their origins and the feelings they convey about the food. Jurasfsky is the author of a new book, The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu. He joins us in this hour of Radio Times along with SYBIL YANG, an assistant professor at San Francisco State University’s department of Hospitality & Tourism Management, who tells us about the tricks menu designers deploy to steer the customer to certain items. Marty spoke with Jurafsky and Yang last month.

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