or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Monday, January 01, 2007

All Heart

We went out for breakfast this morning, as is our way on New Year's Day, but it turned out that the place we had planned to go (Cora's, a Canadian breakfast-and-lunch restaurant chain) didn't open until 9. What the hell is that? Is everyone still in bed at 8 on January 1st? Wimps!

We ended up going to a nearby hotel restaurant instead: the prices are steeper than they ought to be (hotels restaurants being what they are), but the food is pretty good. And there on the menu I spotted some approximation of this:

A hardy breakfast to start your day right.

Now, "hardy" is extended from the word "hard"; it means, among other things, "tough: capable of surviving difficult conditions" or "in particularly good health". It has nothing to do with food, although you could probably apply it to some of the plants and animals that constitute food. "Hearty", on the other hand, derives from "heart", and means, when applied to food, "substantial and nourishing": that's the word that was shot at and missed on this particular menu, and in fact on any menu that dares to employ the word "hardy". There must be quite a few of them: Googling "hardy breakfast" gives an unfortunate ten thousand hits (give or take). "Hearty breakfast", on the other hand, gives us 544,000 hits, so it's not dead and gone yet.

I'm not completely insensible to the fact that "-t-" tends to turn into "-d-" in spoken English, particularly when preceded by an "-r-" and followed by a vowel: "party", "carted", "shorter", and many other words sound as if they have a "-d-" in them in casual North American English. (They certainly do when they're coming out of my mouth.) But is it too much to ask that people know that there are two different words here with different derivations, spellings, and meanings?

Yeah, I suppose it is.


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