This morning I was walking to work when I noticed something so common in New York City that I usually decide not to notice it. What I noticed was an awning over the door of a diner-like restaurant that read: CAPPUCCINOS, YOGURT, CATERING. Those were the three things that this particular restaurant decided to advertise. CAPPUCCINOS, YOGURT, and CATERING.
This kind of urban juxtaposition kills me. It reminds me of those questions on the SAT's where you had to decide which word was out of place amongst three words. Usually one of the words was a verb and the rest were nouns, or else one was an antonym to the other two synonyms. Often two of the words would be types of food and the other would be something totally inedible, like, say, a dishtowel. CAPPUCCINOS, YOGURT, CATERING is one of those puzzles left unanswered. CATERING is decidedly inedible.
But beyond that obvious outlier, what irks me more is the decision to highlight the CAPPUCCINO as either the most available or most appealing coffee drink. First of all, it's just not (more appealing), for the airiness of the foam. And I'm nearly positive this particular restaurant could whip up a latte just as easily (hence, the cappuccino is not particularly more available). But even more importantly, CAPPUCCINO belongs in another list, a list that includes LATTE and MOCHA and CAFE AU LAIT. Why pull the CAPP from the list that suits it, only to flank it with YOGURT and a gerund? It doesn't make any sense.
I won't go into the weirdness of advertising "YOGURT" without preceding it with "FROZEN" or the fact that the Italian plural of CAPPUCCINO is CAPPUCCINI. I will go ahead and say that this instance of signage could be seen as a metaphor for New York City: a place where things that don't go together are crammed in to the same space, and where their lack of connection becomes accepted and expected, and sometimes (although not necessarily in this case) even wonderful.