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  1. #1
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    Question Table cloth/cover

    Good evening,

    I have an urgent question ,please.

    -What do you call a table cover or a table cloth when it used only one time and thrown a way .In addition, it is placed on the floor rather than a table.

    * this kind of table cloth is used in the gulf countries and I got confused what should I call it.

    Another question concerning this issue is what do you call the table when it is completely served with food?

    Hope I make myself clear :)

    Looking forward to you reply.

    Thank you in advance
    Last edited by window; 26-May-2009 at 22:08.

  2. #2
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    Whether used on a table or (as with a picnic) on the ground, a 'tablecloth' is a 'tablecloth' = what goes on some bare surface and the plates are put upon prior to eating.

    The difference here is: one is to be washed and used again. The kind you are referring to is a 'disposable tablecloth': 'tablecloth (meaning made out of woven cotton) whereas 'disposable tablecloth' refers to one often made of paper. (They may make them out of some other plastic-like material, but the point is, they are not intended for long-term use, and not regarded as valuable.)

  3. #3
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    I worked at a restaurant where we covered the tables with paper. It was just big strips of paper cut to size and taped down around the edges, and we did it that way to save money with the laundry bill. We also put out crayons for the children to draw with while they waited. I would never have called that a table cloth. You can also have place mats (either cloth or paper) that are just big enough to go under one place setting. Then you set out as many place mats as you have people eating.

    If we eat outside on the ground, we usually use a picnic blanket. That's a large cloth or blanket we lay out on the ground and sit on so that we can eat the food without the grass scratching our leggs. If you're setting out something that is not a blanket, I suppose you could call it a picnic mat, or possibly (since picinics are special occasions and this sounds like an everyday sort of thing) an eating mat or a floor mat. Since it is a cultural thing, you could also simply use the native word for it because there might not be an appropriate translation. In such cases (as with new technologies or new foods), languages will either absorb the word from another language or coin their own term ('paper table', perhaps?). You could ask some native English speakers in the area what they would call it to see which they have done.

    Once all the food is set out on the table, the table is laden (with food). You may say "The table is ready" or "The food is served" to the people you want to come eat.

  4. #4
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    A blanket is a blanket. Yes. It could be used as a tablecloth...but certainly not a disposable one.

    where we covered the tables with paper...I would never have called that a table cloth

    I wouldn't call the place you work a 'restaurant' either - but an 'eatery'.

    We're not talking 'make-shift' here, but real tablecloths versus disposable tablecloths made and purchased for the purpose of once-only use.

    Toilet tissue could be used for blowing one's nose...but it's still toilet paper, not Kleenex.

  5. #5
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    Thank you very much.

    You really helped me out :)

    Thank you again and good luck for you all.

  6. #6
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    A blanket is a blanket. Yes. It could be used as a tablecloth...but certainly not a disposable one.

    where we covered the tables with paper...I would never have called that a table cloth

    I wouldn't call the place you work a 'restaurant' either - but an 'eatery'.

    We're not talking 'make-shift' here, but real tablecloths versus disposable tablecloths made and purchased for the purpose of once-only use.

    Toilet tissue could be used for blowing one's nose...but it's still toilet paper, not Kleenex.
    You have never been to the place where I worked as a hostess. It was, in fact, a fine dining restaurant and most definitely not an eatery. The name of the establishment included the word restaurant so I have no qualms about calling it what it was. If you have a complaint about a restaurant putting paper over the tablecloths, you can take it up with the owner.

    I did not say that a blanket was anything but a blanket. I was explaining the idea of eating off of one as a picnic blanket, and I hope that was clear to the questioner. You may have been talking about the difference between real and disposable tablecloths, but the question as I read it had to do with a custom particular to gulf countries. If you in your British home commonly put your disposable tablecloth on the floor and eat off of it, then I will submit to your superior knowledge of this particular custom and the appropriate terminology thereof. For all I know, they could be using a disposable plastic tarp to eat off of and it doesn't matter what they call it. I was not contradicting your comments, simply adding perspective, and it is up to the one who asked the question to determine whether and how useful the information I provide may be.

    For future reference, please observe that Kleenex is a brand name and not an actual product. The product that Kleenex is most famous for is their tissues, specifically facial tissues as opposed to toilet tissues, though in my experience both are equally useful to either necessity.

  7. #7
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    In Canada, a restaurant which puts out paper and crayons is generally called a "family style" restaurant. I also like to doodle on the paper as I wait for the food.

    As for the picnic, if we sit on the grass, I would call it a picnic blanket. If there are tables, then what is put on the table would be a tablecloth. I don't use disposables at all.

    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    Thank you very much.

    You really helped me out :)

    Thank you again and good luck for you all.

    window must be used to this forum - he/she got out while the going was good...

    nonsense:You have never been to the place where I worked as a hostess

    ...before the simple matter of 'disposable tablecloths' erupted into some indignant biographical account.
    If you have a complaint about a restaurant putting paper over the tablecloths, you can take it up with the owner.
    Not so much the paper over the tablecloth, as the sawdust on the floor. And when was the spittoon last emptied?

    For future reference, please observe that Kleenex is a brand name and not an actual product. The product that Kleenex is most famous for is their tissues, specifically facial tissues as opposed to toilet tissues, though in my experience both are equally useful to either necessity.

    Is this what other people mean? when they respond to such with, "Too much information."

    No...no...good idea, window.
    Bye.
    Last edited by David L.; 27-May-2009 at 20:31.

  9. #9
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    Actually, Kleenex IS a product, a facial tissue or thing to blow your nose into, made I believe by Kimberly-Clark, who also make many other BRANDS of paper products.

  10. #10
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    Re: Table cloth/cover

    About Kleenex® Brand
    Kleenex - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Kleenex is a brand. That is why you capitalize the name. In their advertisements and information, I believe they are careful to talk about their product as facial tissues or Kleenex Brand Tissues. The story I heard is that they are careful to do this because at one point they were sued for the name. Since the name Kleenex was being used as synonymous with the product of facial tissues, someone argued that this constituted a monopoly. To break the monopoly, everyone who wanted to sell a similar product must be allowed to use the Kleenex name. Consequently, the company that owns the Kleenex brand began a campaign to change the terminology enough so that they could keep their brand name and not be considered a monopoly. There are also Kleenex brand table napkins and quick wipes. Yes, there are still many people (myself included) who may use the brand name as synonymous with the facial tissues, but if I take a generic brand tissue and call it a Kleenex, I am technically incorrect.

    There is a good point here. If you know the brand of the product you are using (of tablecloth or whatever), and you know that this is a very popular or famous brand, that most of the people in your area who use the same product are using this same brand, you could try referring to the product by the brand name. However, unless we are discussing Tablecloths(R) brand products here, it is not a good analogy.

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