Point of View: Function follows form

Dave Trott
The Gate London

When Starbucks first started I was standing in the queue in the Oxford Street branch. In front of me was a Geordie bloke. He said to the barista: 'Can I have a small coffee, pet?'

In a foreign accent, she said: 'You want a tall coffee?'

He said: 'No pet, just a small one.'

She said: 'A tall one, yes?'

He held his thumb and forefinger apart and said: 'No, no, just a small one, like.'

I leaned over, I said: 'In here a tall one is a small one.'

He said: 'You what?'

I said: 'They call a small coffee a Tall coffee.'

He said: 'Why do they do that? What do they call a big coffee?'

I said: 'A Venti.'

He said: 'What about a medium one?'

I said: 'A Grande.'

He said: 'Why don't they just call them small, medium, and large?'