28 October, 2008

Still? You sure?


Well, the holiday season has come to a close. My family finished it off by spending the weekend in Modi'in, for our good friend's Bat Mitzva. (Congratulations, Hadas!) It was a lot of fun, and we even found a funny label. Or so we thought...

Here's a bottle of juice that was served. It's a new trend - "clear" juice - in other words, not enough fruit to get pulp or clouds in your drink. Quite yummy and refreshing, actually. Anyway, here's a picture of the bottle:

If you look closer, you'll notice a claim on the front:


Aha, less sugar than what? They don't just give that information away easily - this is a high class bottle, with footnotes. But before we get to the footnote, here's the other funny part: what's with the "approximately 37%?" Is 37% not precise enough? Wow - these guys seem to have had a hard time holding back on the decimals.

Anyway, here's the footnote, which we all thought was funny when we saw it. Approx 37% less sugar...

Still drinks! How funny!

This is their translation of the Hebrew "mashkeh kal," which literally means "light drinks." I was fairly certain that light drinks are called such because they're non-alcoholic. I've personally made the occasional mistake of grabbing one when looking for a diet drink, although there's no connection between this light and that light. Anyway, there were around 20 of us in the room when we saw this, and no one I spoke to seemed to think that "still" was an appropriate term for a drink. I figured that they were referring to it's lack of carbonation, but even so, what a silly mistranslation!

Until tonight, when we chanced to looked it up online, and found that definition number six for still, according to some, is:

Not carbonated; lacking effervescence:
a still wine.

Seems obscure? Wait, there's more! Although "still drink" doesn't get its own wikipedia or answers.com page, this appears on the wikipedia page for nectar:

The classification of drinks with fruit flavour typically denominate 'Juice' as 100% fruit juice with no
additives (although juice can be reconstituted from concentrate diluted with water), 'Nectar as 25%-99% fruit juice and 'Still drinks' as less than 25% fruit juice.

Wow! So it turns out that, in the world of fruit drinks, "still drinks" is actually the formal term for not enough fruit to get pulp or clouds in your drink. The Israeli Prigat company has taught us a proper English word! I'm a bit stunned. Does this mark the beginning of a new and wonderful era? Does this make up for "biulding meterials" and "parkink?" I guess we'll just have to wait and see.




6 comments:

Mo-ha-med said...

The approx 37% is hilarious. In France they used to have this very odd habit, when writing numbers (of calories, etc) to write something like "approx. 42%e", the "e" referring, if i'm not mistaken, to "exactement". (because of the same problem with averages, as on your bottle).

As for still - I am amused that you find it odd: I have always used 'still' as opposed to 'sparkling', in reference to water. Neither term ever referred to juice, though.

Perhaps an English/European thing?

toby said...

Yeah, I was thinking that maybe it was an English vs. American thing...

Anonymous said...

Since I never get the point I'm supposed to get, I'll tell you what struck me--in this 37% less drink, there is fructose, fruit sugar, (what's the difference?) and sugar--three different kinds of sugar making up the 37% LESS. Good grief!
Mom

Arie said...

It is a British / European English vs American English thing. On European airlines they ask you if you want "still" or "sparkling" water. I've never heard this for other types of drinks though. Not that I would think anyone would offer me a "still" coke. How about "Drats! The coke is still! How many times do I have to tell you to tighten the cap...?" :)

toby said...

Mom - well, it is approximate, after all. I suppose if you round down, 37 could even be zero...

Arie - I think I may try using that - it sounds quite classy. My Dad actually prefers his Coke still.

Goldwasser Story said...

this is carzy