THE BLOG

What Happened to Small, Medium and Large?

03/21/2013 05:07 pm ET | Updated May 21, 2013

I'm a coffee addict. Having this addiction shouldn't be a complicated matter, but these days ordering a coffee is anything but simple.

Boutique coffee shops such as Starbucks and Coffee Bean offer coffee drinks that have become works of art, with exotic names like Cinnamon Dolce Creme, Mocha Frappucino and Caramel Macchiato. And as if learning the names of these new drinks isn't enough, I now have to familiarize myself with the new sizes being offered.

At Starbucks they have tall, grande and venti. At Coffee Bean they serve small, regular and large.
Doesn't "regular" mean what one usually orders? "I'll have my regular." Isn't it presumptuous to assume that everyone's regular is the drink in the middle?

And yesterday at the mall, I could have ordered an ernome from a barista who was only too happy to add an extra shot of caffeine for only 25-cents. Such a deal. An enorme coffee alone was enough to give me the jitters.

So the other day with my tall coffee in hand, my granddaughter excitedly showed me her report card. She got all fours. Fours? It appears that the grading system in the Los Angeles elementary schools now uses numbers, with a four being equivalent to an A. What happened to the good old A, B, C, D and F system?

Speaking of numbers, the last time I went shopping I was completely confused as to what size I should buy. The store's sizing started with a zero and went to up to five. Now, I'm a small person, so I guess I'd be a negative number. Who wants to feel like they're less than nothing? And really who is getting fooled? If you're a five at this shop, well, then you're a large. Oh excuse me, a venti.

Yes, names and labels have changed quite a lot throughout the years. But to paraphrase Shakespeare, that which we call a small by any other name would still be a small.

Back in the Bard's time, a woman with a hot flash was a woman with a hot flash. Now, well, to be politically correct, we're called 'hormonally challenged' women.

And I say that's enough of a challenge without having to learn how to order a coffee drink!