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Thread: healthy food

  1. #1
    risby is offline Junior Member
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    healthy food

    I wonder if there is a name for words used in the way the "healthy" is used now.

    It looks like an adjective and, considered as such, it is probably true that people would prefer to eat food made from healthy plant and animals rather than diseased ones ... but that isn't what they mean by the phrase "healthy food".

    They mean something like "food that has benefits for my health". So, should I consider that "healthy" used like this is an abbreviation or is there a better way of classifying such words? They're sound-bite words that do not stand up analysis (since any food has good or bad effects depending on the quantity eaten and the proportion eaten compared to other foods). Is there a technical term that covers them?

    Thoughts welcome.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: healthy food

    I know of no technical term. In this particular case, some use 'healthful', though this usage is more common American English, I believe. Depending on how negative you want to be, then buzz/weasel word could apply.

  3. #3
    risby is offline Junior Member
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    Re: healthy food

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I know of no technical term. In this particular case, some use 'healthful', though this usage is more common American English, I believe. Depending on how negative you want to be, then buzz/weasel word could apply.
    Hmmm, possibly "weasel word" works, I'm not sure. It does seem to be food related words about which I most want to be negative

    What about "additives"? Taken literally, any ingredient in a recipe is an additive: you add butter or oil to flour and water for bread dough. The word seems, again, to be an abbreviation of a phrase like "nasty chemical additions that you wouldn't use in home cooking".

    Or, "e-numbers". This is actually used in the same way but salt has an e-number.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: healthy food

    Food does have more than its fair share- the current trend for unnecessary qualifications, like 'pan-fried' and 'oven-baked', is one that gets a lot of people.

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    Re: healthy food

    Quote Originally Posted by risby View Post
    I wonder if there is a name for words used in the way the "healthy" is used now.
    And what about "suspicious"? Is that another example of what you mean? It can mean "suspecting" but also "suspect" i.e. the object of suspicion.

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