the reason i disagree with this thread is because "earl grey" is used here to assume "earl grey tea" when "earl grey latte" exists. the ambiguity that's argued to exist for chai exists for other teas as well, except folks also often say "chai tea" to refer to "chai latte" here. https://twitter.com/Miandre/status/1330654457432981505
one of the things that bothers me is the argument, "we already have words for those." and you have to ask, who's "we"? why is it "naan bread" but not "baguette bread"? baguette is a word from a foreign language as well that's a specific bread, like naan. https://twitter.com/Miandre/status/1330654453024755712?s=20
it's completely true that chai and naan aren't 1:1 translations of tea and bread, but they're specific *types* of tea and bread. personally i think it makes sense to add the term "bread" but it's *still* redundant. e.g., "roti bread", "ciabatta bread", etc.
we do hear people say things like "focaccia bread" and "sourdough bread" but it sounds redundant to us... because it is, and that's the same with "naan bread". just as you can say "focaccia" and "sourdough" alone, you can say "naan" alone.
the privilege given to *european* loan words in OP's thread that allows them to be used on their own without the supergroup modifier, whereas *asian* loan words are argued to require the modifier is frankly... well, you know
just as "naan" isn't exactly "bread", "sourdough", "focaccia", "bagette", etc. aren't either. they're all *specific* types of bread. what OP has said about naan you could say about these other breads. and yet how come the argument isn't that those breads "require" adding "bread"?
i'm jumping in to this just because i have some odd focus on teas, & my tea co-conspirator happens to also have a degree in linguistics, like OP. the tea arguments that are employed sound really fishy, because something having a latte form doesn't mean "tea" needs to be specifed
but anyways, personally, while i agree with OP's thread that language changes and evolves as it's adopted (or stolen) from other languages, we need to ask *why* these changes come about. what are the politics of these choices? our choice of words is in itself a politic
random aside, the specific example of "chai tea" and "chai latte" from OP's thread amuses me, because the main issue is that starbucks has a menu item called a "chai tea latte". this is what popularized the term. but OP simultaneously argues for and against this term
anyways, if you order an earl grey in a cafe, you're not going to suddenly get an earl grey latte. the same with chai. also, while earl grey is a specific tea made from bergamot with a specific oxidation process, there is no one, singular 'chai tea'...
but also, i'm sad that the original thread mentions 茶 (cha, or tea in chinese), but repeatedly pushes that 'chai is not synonymous with tea' when in india, it... literally is? and they... literally speak english in india, where this is valid? so, once again, i ask, "who's we?"
just a reminder that countries other than the US, UK, & Australia (where OP is from) use english. there's a certain type of privilege OP gives to white-spoken english in her thread that disqualifies the validity of 'chai' meaning 'tea' in india, where english is an official lang.
i do appreciate OP's thread, and i do think language is fun. the thing that really got me is that OP says "mocking the colonizer is valid" but uses colonizer logics in her own thread.. so i just wanted to point those instances out. mocking does nothing if the logic doesn't change