Recipes for Success

  • Michael J. Hayes
Part of the Insights book series (ISI)


We spend our lives interpreting, or as Barthes would say ‘reading’, not only the language but also the objects, actions and activities that constitute our environment. If somebody says they are going to have an aperitif we know they are going to have a certain kind of drink as a prelude to a meal. The use of the word ‘aperitif’ and the actual drink they choose, be it whisky, sherry or white wine and cassis, further reveals something of their lifestyle. If, moreover, they should give a self-consciously exaggerated pronunciation to the word ‘aperitif’ itself, we would suggest they are aping their own pretensions to the lifestyle announced by using the word, or even parodying that lifestyle in order to distance themselves from its social implications. They might be saying something such as ‘we like the drink but don’t want to be associated with the social conventions it implies’.


White Wine Oxford English Dictionary Household Management Actual Drink Italian Food 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Barthes, R., tr. R. Howard, ‘The Kitchen of Meaning’, in The Semiotic Challenge (Oxford: Blackwell, 1988) p. 158.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Frake, C. O., ‘How to Ask for a Drink in Subanun’, in P. P. Giglioli (ed.), Language and Social Context (Middlesex: Penguin, 1973) p. 91.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Beeton, I., ‘Preface to first edition’, reprinted, Mrs Beeton’s Cookery and Household Management (London: Ward Lock, 1961) p. C.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    David, E., Italian Food (London: Barrie and Jenkins, 1987) p. 190.Google Scholar

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© The Editorial Board, Lumière (Co-operative) Press Ltd 1990

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  • Michael J. Hayes

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