Sunday, July 27, 2008

Word on the street: "Starphonics"

Menus can broaden our lexicon, as I learned today. In this literal edition of "word on the street," we're going to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, where the brunch menu introduced me to a new phrase this morning: Starphonics.

I found the unusual term buried within a list of rules on the menu back. "$8 minimum per table." "All major credit cards accepted." "We do not respond to Starphonics."

My first thought was that this was a rarely used form of ebonics, perhaps one with an astronomical bent, but that didn't make any sense. I asked the waiter, and he had no clue (having only worked there two weeks and apparently having not yet read his own establishment's menu.) Then one of my breakfast mates had a flash of insight.

"Starbucks!" he said. "It's the language people use to order drinks at Starbucks. Hence, Starphonics."

Brilliant! The reference fell into place, given Afterwords' short coffee menu and a fleet of hipster waiters who didn't look too keen on writing down complicated demands for "venti chai double shot espresso with lactaid, no foam, just cinnamon."

So that's the explanation I'm going with until someone tells me otherwise. (The only corroboration I could find was here.) What say you, dear readers? Is this the correct definition of Starphonics?

1 comment:

  1. Anthony Nicalo5:08 PM

    Nice work, Julia. I have sent this post out to a lexicographer friend. I will let you know what he has to say.

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