[NAFEX] prune definition

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Fri Sep 19 15:45:53 EDT 2008


Mark,

 

Mr. Anderson commented on something that marketers here have also noted.
That's why the CA prune industry calls the fresh ones prunes and the dried
ones dried plums.  

 

Sunsweet, a prune and apricot growers association member, now has "PlumSmart
- Fresh Plum Juice," extracted from fresh prunes, and their standard prune
juice, made by soaking dried prunes - or dried plums, they would say now.

 

I also agree with you dogma; dictionaries reflect, rather than instruct,
word usage. I remain strongly dogmatic in some cases of modern usage and
speech habits, but that's a personal, and cantankerous, choice.  I'm 53 -
can I be cantankerous yet?  The prune/plum thing, though, is something where
different people have different uses, and neither group need convert to the
other's usage.

 

~ Stephen

 

From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Mark Angermayer
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 10:53 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] prune definition

 

Maybe some of the confusion on plum/prune definition could be explained by a
comment from Bob Andersen, retired stone fruit breeder out of Cornell.
Perhaps the terminology is changing (at least in the east) to remove the
term "prune" applied to fresh market plums.  The comment was written several
years ago.  

 

Of course it's pointless to be dogmatic on definitions.  Ultimately a word
is defined (or redefined) by consensus of the speaker and the hearer.  For
instance, it seems silly that an Englishman would use the term "a flat
battery" (tires go flat, not batteries).  But if I'm talking to a Brit, and
he mentions his battery is flat, I know he's trying to tell me he has a dead
battery, and probably needs a jump.  He defines the word differently than I,
and that's OK.

 

 

Bob Andersen:

"It used to be that [eastern] USA fruit growers called European-type plums
prunes even if the fruit was sold fresh and not dried.   Now most plum
marketers strongly believe that the word prune has negative connotations to
most consumers.  They have done market research that reveals that "prune" is
associated with old, and we all know old is bad (tongue in cheek)."

 

Reference:

http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/hort/faculty/andersen/New%20England%20Stone%20
fruit%20varieties.do.htm

 

Mark

KS

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