Mister Monday

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Sep 16 12:36:29 EDT 2003

deborah replied to my anxious moment of doubt:

>On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 minnow at belfry.org.uk wrote:
>|deborah wrote:
>|>|  American schools do nearly always have full kitchens.
>|>Though they aren't often called "refectory" in the US.
>|Is this another divided by a single language moment?  To me (and my British
>|dictionaries) the refectory is the dining-hall, where you eat, and the
>|kitchen is where you cook.
>No, I think I didn't know excatly what it meant, and it may have been
>sloppy reading on my part.  But I've never heard the term used in the
>US, except maybe referring to monasteries or Catholic schools.  I know
>the term from non-US books, and clearly I didn't know it correctly.
>Other Americans, correct me if I'm wrong about its non-use?

I was thrown by the idea that "kitchen" and "refectory" meant the same
room, rather than by "refectory" on its own....  So reassure me, the
kitchen isn't another word for the dining-room in America, is it?
Cook-tent not the same place as mess-tent, as it were?  I mean, in Scotland
a kitchen *may* be a tea-urn, but that's not exactly common usage!

Not having read the book, and so not knowing how "kitchen" is used in it, I
read the posted comment "American schools do nearly always have full
kitchens." as meaning that there is no shortage of food to be cooked for
the students at American schools.  This seemed to me to make sense and to
be what I would expect of American schools....  :-)  Then your apparently
suggesting that in America kitchens are not called refectories made me
wonder about why they would be anywhere, not just in America.

Sorry if my question added another layer of confusion to the one (perhaps)
already there.  I wasn't doubting your understanding of the word refectory,
I was doubting mine of the word kitchen.


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