Paul Fussell, in his book, Class – A Guide Through the American Status System, noted that aristocrats and others in the hereditary-upper-classes will say, “Let’s have a drink and talk about it” where those of the middle-class cannot resist saying, “Let’s discuss it over cocktails.” It has been noticed by many that the status-security of someone from the aristocratic-class or hereditary-upper-class tends to result in their speaking simply and directly, while someone from the middle-class or high-proletarian-class (that is, the working class with money) tends to fear being revealed as inferior and therefore often over-dresses their speech.
Fussell humorously states that airline menus “constitute a veritable exhibition palace of the fake elegant” – but noticed that one such menu card he encountered did “forget itself and slip once, calling beverages ‘drinks’ in a thoroughly upper-class way.”
Also in Paul Fussell’s book one reads, “If a woman does a lot of knitting for family and friends, chances are she’s upper-middle-class. But if when she finishes a sweater she sews in a little label reading ‘Handmade by Gertrude Willis’ she’s middle-class. If the label reads ‘Hand-crafted by Gertrude Willis’ she’s high-prole.”
Are you ready? Here it comes:
No, this does not mean to contrast the bar that uses the above phrase with other bars where the drinks are made by robots, or by bartenders using their feet.
I know that bars feel they must compete for the dollars of the high-proletarian-class. Some surely consider dumbed-down marketing appeals such as “hand-crafted cocktails” a necessary evil. Yet, I am humored at the ever-present spectacle of the ‘fake elegant’ when it comes to promoting anything alcoholic. It’s time for me to go have a drink and a chuckle.