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This may be too funny to be the subject of a valid question, but see The Economist's article Silly Sausages of June 29, 2019.

Silly sausages

Europe heroically defends itself against veggie burgers

And there are plenty more misleading words it should ban

THE EUROPEAN UNION gets a lot of flak. All right, it isn’t literally blasted with anti-aircraft fire, but you know what we mean. One ongoing battle (OK, nobody died) involves the use of words. Earlier this year, the European Parliament’s agriculture committee voted to prohibit the terms “burger”, “sausage”, “escalope” and “steak” to describe products that do not contain any meat. It was inspired by the European Court of Justice’s decision in 2017 to ban the use of “milk”, “butter” and “cream” for non-dairy products. Exceptions were made for “ice cream” and “almond milk”, but “soya milk” went down the drain, lest consumers assume it had been extracted from the soya udder of a soya cow. The court has yet to rule on the milk of human kindness.

Greens are mounting a campaign against the committee’s decision, which they suspect is supported not only by linguistic purists but also by the meat industry. This newspaper thinks the parliament is quite right to protect citizens from the confusion they would no doubt feel were they to find that no part of a “veggie burger” was made of the flesh of a dead animal. Indeed, this praiseworthy initiative needs to go further.

“Escalopes” pose a clear danger to consumers, who might well recoil in horror when, taking a mouthful of one, they discover that it is made not of the scallops from which it got its name but of chicken or veal. “Sausages” should refer only to heavily salted meat, whence the term derives; for clarity, consumers should be informed that the item is encased in animal intestine. Steaks should be sold only on a pointed stick, on the grounds that most shoppers will rely on the proto-Indo-European etymology. Any confusion could be avoided if kebabs were, as their Arabic root suggests, always sold burned. The production of burgers should be restricted to the butchers of Hamburg, long ago deprived of their intellectual property by a shocking failure of linguistic regulation. The same right should be extended to makers of Frankfurter sausages—sorry, meat-filled gut. And “meat” itself should apply to all food, sweet or savoury, which would make the term historically accurate, if useless.

Note: See Etomonline, steak for the explanation why steak should be confined to meat served on a pointed stick.

The Economist article (link above) goes on to recommend reforming modern English to misunderstandings on budgetary vocabulary, for example:

Discussion of computers should be limited to clerks who do budgetary calculations, while that of the digital single market should apply only to sums that people can do on their fingers.

The same article cites some geographical issues that need addressing to avoid confusion:

... the Mediterranean is not the centre of the Earth; there is no horticulture in the Big Apple. They need renaming.

After a paragraph about the confusion that will result in the minds of readers when encountering "a level playing field" -- no, it is not a massive geoengineering project to move the Alps to fill in the low areas of Europe -- the Economist article concludes:

The Treaty of Rome speaks of the need to respect member states’ culture (no, nothing to do with yogurt) and bind them together (please put the string away). In view of those aspirations, Europe’s leaders need to get on board with this reform. Not literally, obviously. It’s not a ship. Never mind.

Anyone who thinks (s)he can summarize this article in their own words, and preserve its je ne sais quoi, please try! :)

Now for the Meta Question: Is there a question here for the Main Site? My thought is that there is a wider question here, which is Creeping Bureaucratese (CB). Bureaucratese is a dialect of English, with many sub-dialects, even within a single country. (To its credit, the US Internal Revenue Service website is pretty good at plain English, but the US Social Security site less so.) So the question might be, has CB ever been reversed, and if so, how?

The narrow question might be, did the EU embark on its linguistic reform on any evidence that consumers were confused by, e.g. soya milk? (See article on the German Agriculture Minister).

Finally, see the question of @Mari-Lou A on almond milk, to which this Q is related, but not a duplicate.

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    I eagerly await the EU's realization that "hamburgers" contain no ham, and that "sausage" more often than not is bereft of sage. What do they propose to do about those highly misleading terms? (To say nothing of "hotdogs" and "hushpuppies.") – Sven Yargs Jun 29 at 22:42
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    Apropos of this discussion, a Twitter user recently made the following assertion: "Actually, it's only existentialism if it comes from the existentialism region of France. Otherwise, i's just sparkling anxiety." – Sven Yargs Jun 29 at 23:03
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    @SvenYargs 'Hushpuppies' are given to the dogs to keep them quiet. – Mitch Jun 30 at 0:12
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    Love the article, pity I can only read the first few paragraphs. I chuckled loudly :) – Mari-Lou A Jun 30 at 8:04
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    @Mari-LouA They offer free registration, including your choice of 5 articles. Nevermind that English only has 3. – Lawrence Jun 30 at 17:10
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    @Lawrence ho ho ho I had to think for a few seconds before I got it :P – Mari-Lou A Jun 30 at 17:33
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    I'm not sure why this ELU.Meta question is attracting votes to close on the basis of being generically off-topic. It's asking a question about whether to post "How do we hit back?" on ELU.Main. Now, that question might suit Politics.SE better, but this question about whether something is on-topic on Main is certainly on-topic on Meta. – Lawrence Jul 3 at 15:16
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    @Lawrence I don't get it. What's the ELU.Main question? (Note: I can't access the Economist article) – Mitch Jul 3 at 19:13
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    Oh OK. Yeah sounds like fun. But a bit iffy (could go well, or could be reviled). – Mitch Jul 3 at 21:31
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    @Mitch The ELU Main question is “Can we hit back?” The Economist article talks about a movement to standardise the way food is named in the EU. One example ab2 picked up in comments above is milk - with a few exceptions, things called milk should actually come from a mammal at some point. He/she is asking whether the ELU community would mind a question pushing back on that naming policy. – Lawrence Jul 4 at 8:02
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    @Mitch I missed it on my first read through as well. At this point, the 'hitting back' is vaguely against whoever is trying to maintain etymological consistency. I'm sure there's a middle ground to be had - semantic drift and linguistic (mis)appropriation is part of the way the language has grown, but on the other hand, it doesn't seem right to label every misuse of the language as semantic drift in the making. – Lawrence Jul 4 at 13:31
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    This question just got bumped to the top. Reading it again, it's still hard to understand what's going on here. Help us out. Give details about the Economist article. Give a link to the ELU.main question. etc etc. – Mitch Aug 2 at 23:52
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    @Mitch Oh, mitch. It was posted on meta because ab2 wanted to share a bit of fun with everyone. Sadly, experience tells me there can be no EL&U question, see my almond milk question, without someone thinking it is a rant, patronising, confusing or plain wrong. – Mari-Lou A Aug 4 at 7:59
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    Excellent... thanks @ab2 for making your meta-question self-contained and understandable. I realize that was extra work for you but that saves the work of every interested party from doing that same work over and over and over for each new person themselves. Your cut and paste was exactly what was needed, no sane person would ever consider that plagiarism because you are 1) quoting it 2) giving a reference to the original, and 3) using it as something to remark on as opposed to original work. – Mitch Aug 4 at 23:54
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No, it wouldn't be on-topic on Main, but I would welcome it anyway just this once.

Who knows, it might even make greatest-hits; no violence intended.

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