vegetarian and non-vegetarian

A local kebab and burger shop is advertising:

Special vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus

The default kebab or burger contains meat. In fact the default main course food, whether at a café, restaurant or home, contains meat, so much so that English doesn’t have a word for food containing meat. A kebab or burger containing meat is hardly “special”, any more than a vegetarian salad is. 

I am also pondering the use of menus in that way. includes the dishes served (at a meal) as its second definition, behind, a list of of the dishes served at a meal, but “vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes” doesn’t quite suit a (mainly takeaway) kebab and burger shop. A dish is not only the container, but the also the food served on/in it. (Also a plate, as in “Bring a plate” to a community gathering and meal.)


7 thoughts on “vegetarian and non-vegetarian

  1. As you may also have noticed, the word “music” has similar issues to “menu” and “dish.” As a church musician, I have observed that the vast majority of time the word “music” is spoken, it refers to physical sheet music, not the Terpsichorean art form or the evanescent sonic phenomenon. So many times I’ve heard a chorister say they need “the music” or a congregant remark on how I played the hymns “without music.” The only work one can play without music is, in fact, 4’33”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I’ve got this music stuck in my head and I just can’t get rid of it”!

      The same dictionary which gives ‘menu’ as 1) the list of dishes and 2) the (foods on the) dishes, gives the following (slightly abbreviated) in order of: 1) an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions 2) the sounds employed 3) musical works or compositions 4) the written or printed score 5) such scores collectively.

      At first glance I thought you might have been talking about ‘musics’ as a plural, as in ‘the musics of China, Japan and Korea’ (possible) v ‘the musics of Australia’ (less likely).


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  3. When I searched for musics in Google, at first it just returned tons of stuff for “music”. But when I put quotes around “musics” I got some better results. One of particular interest is this Wikipedia disambiguation page:

    which says:

    Musics may refer to:

    Musics (album), an album by Dewey Redman
    Musics (magazine), a magazine covering free improvised music

    neither of which I had known of and both of which cover areas that interest me. So now I have a couple of new leads to follow up on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I should have specified the quotation marks. Even with them, I also got instances of *music*, *music’s* (ie *music is*, *music has* or *music-poss* and *musics* obviously meaning *music’s*


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