Judge John Hodgman on Australian ‘Dinner’

Gillian writes: My partner, Jonathon, is from Australia. He uses the word “dinner” for the midday meal and the evening meal. He even asked our toddler to eat her “dinner” of oatmeal at 8 a.m. While I know that “dinner” has been used in the past to describe midday meals, I argue that it’s not appropriate for life in 2022. Jonathon says, “Nobody likes a pedant.”

“Dinner” for “lunch” is one thing. But I challenge Jonathon to provide a single historical example in which a little 8 a.m. oatmeal would be called “dinner.” The word is used to describe the largest, most (relatively) formal meal of the day. But as with my oatmeal, I care most about consistency. Pick a name for each meal and stick with it. By the way, you are not a pedant. Pedantry would be saying that Jonathon spells his name wrong. In truth, his name (like him, I am guessing) is merely weird.

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