[NAFEX] prune definition

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Mon Sep 22 00:51:49 EDT 2008



I don't feel at all combative.  I'm a word guy.  I think to the general
public prune means dried plum.  I think, as I said at first and all along,
that some people also use it to mean fresh plums that can dry whole without
fermenting.  I think such users commonly identify such plums by their shape
and firmness.  You asked for references, and I sent them.  Like I said, I
like words, and researching usage is pleasurable. 


I believe our state produces more French prunes than Japanese plums,
although I don't think that's linguistically relevant.  The growers of the
two varieties of fresh crops call themselves prune or plum growers to
differentiate themselves.  The products are priced and processed
differently, and growers of each work with different coops, sellers, and


Hereabouts, I usually see fresh Japanese plums labeled plums or labeled by
variety, and elongated European prune-plums called prunes or fresh prunes.
Most people commonly seem to call fresh plums of any type plums, and dried
ones prunes.  I'm a little more aggie than most, and am one of the large
minority that call fresh prunes prunes. 


Wasn't the question just whether the word prune is ever used to mean a fresh
plum?  Clearly, it is.


~ Stephen


From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Alan Haigh
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 9:00 AM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] prune definition


To Stephan and anyone else still interested in this discussion.

You misunderstand my intentions and assertions.  After you presented your
dictionary definitions I did not question the correctness of those
definitions just where the usage was being employed.  I never assumed that
my belief that this usage was limited to the less knowledgeable public was
correct, which is why I asked for input from other members.  I was obviously
trying to communicate my own uncertainty.

I find your tone unnecessarily combative and can only assume that my
original posting appeared the same to you for which I apologize.

As far as commercial growers in CA and how they use the word prune, I
suspect that the reason for it is that the vast majority of their product
has been used for drying.  If their product was primarily used fresh they
might have a different usage.  California's fresh crop of plums is primarily
Japanese types, I believe, so it is logical that their usage would evolve to
this shorthand.  This is just a guess, and I welcome any contradictory
information.  I don't have a lot of ego investment here.  Honest!  

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