There's a scandal currently rocking the globe involving the London office of the law firm of Baker & McKenzie (which is sort of the McDonald's of international law firms) where a secretary got some ketchup stains on the trousers of a lawyer or possibly a "legal executive". Here's a CNN article on the incident.
http://tinyurl.com/8hae3
My question is, why do the presumptively BrE
speakers involved (the stainer and the stainee) refer to ketchup as "ketchup" rather than "tomato sauce"?
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There's a scandal currently rocking the globe involving the London office of the law firm of Baker & McKenzie (which ... do the presumptively BrE speakers involved (the stainer and the stainee) refer to ketchup as "ketchup" rather than "tomato sauce"?

Emotion: stick out tongueulls up chair, grabs popcorn:: I'd like to follow this thread and see the responses myself. I asked the distinction between "tomato sauce" and "ketchup" once on a Spanish-language board and got nary a response. I also remember asking a friend from Australia, where they call it "tomato sauce" IIRC, but can't remember what she said about it other than the Aussie "ketchup" was less sweet than the American variety. I'm thoroughly confused about the whole issue myself.
Larry
There's a scandal currently rocking the globe involving the London office of the law firm of Baker & McKenzie (which ... do the presumptively BrE speakers involved (the stainer and the stainee) refer to ketchup as "ketchup" rather than "tomato sauce"?

My equally important question is whether "the details were forward across the city" or across the City.

Jerry Friedman
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There's a scandal currently rocking the globe involving the London office of the law firm of Baker & McKenzie (which ... do the presumptively BrE speakers involved (the stainer and the stainee) refer to ketchup as "ketchup" rather than "tomato sauce"?

US reverse-colonialism. Only the most refined viz., or at any rate e.g., the ones you meet at AUE these days even know there are other kinds of ketchup. And, in their defence (I've always supported the underdog), the staineur and stainee in question almost certainly reserve "tomato sauce" for something you cook in a saucepan but which is not mushroom sauce, parsley sauce, bread sauce, raspberry sauce, etc etc. (Have I missed a nuance, or are you having memory problems again, Richard?)

Mike.
There's a scandal currently rocking the globe involving the London ... stainee) refer to ketchup as "ketchup" rather than "tomato sauce"?

US reverse-colonialism. Only the most refined viz., or at any rate e.g., the ones you meet at AUE ... sauce, bread sauce, raspberry sauce, etc etc. (Have I missed a nuance, or are you having memory problems again, Richard?)

The nuance is that in BrE the condiment that Americans call "(tomato) ketchup" seems to be called "tomato sauce". If these people are using the term "ketchup", is that a conscious Americanism of the sort that the Omrud (Final Arbiter of British English Usage), say, finds alarming?
There's a scandal currently rocking the globe involving the London office of the law firm of Baker & McKenzie (which ... do the presumptively BrE speakers involved (the stainer and the stainee) refer to ketchup as "ketchup" rather than "tomato sauce"?

Why shouldn't they?
Also consider the person at the dry cleaner's, who might have asked for clarification of what the substance was.

Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England
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Also consider the person at the dry cleaner's, who might have asked for clarification of what the substance was.

Interestingly, I think we in AmE would say "dry cleaners" rather than "dry cleaner's" we don't interpret it as a possessive. (We tend not to use the possessive as much as the BrE do in other sorts of 'commercial establishment' terms BrE seems to have thing like "the butcher's", "the barber's" (= DocRobinE "the hairdresser's"/OmrudE "the coiffeuse"???), etc., where AmE would have "the butcher", "the barber" (even as names for the establishments as distinct from the professional who works at the establishment). (Let's ignore the fact that there are no independent butcher stores outside of New York and a few other East Coast cities, and that the traditional barbershop (associated with Italian-Americans in some Eastern cities but with Norwegian-Americans in Seattle) is all but dead in most places.)
So the fact that AmE uses the expression "the cleaners" indicates that we think of the cleaners as a plural, for some reason. So why don't we say "the cleaner"?
The nuance is that in BrE the condiment that Americans call "(tomato) ketchup" seems to be called "tomato sauce". If ... "ketchup", is that a conscious Americanism of the sort that the Omrud (Final Arbiter of British English Usage), say, findsalarming?

You'll find just as many Brits who call it tomato ketchup as call it tomato sauce. The most popular example is Heinz, which calls itself Tomato Ketchup very prominently.
I have a feeling that fewer Brits are calling tomato ketchup "tomato sauce" these days, because of the increasing awareness of what we might refer to as "genuine tomato sauce" in foreign cuisine.

Matti
There's a scandal currently rocking the globe involving the London office of the law firm of Baker & McKenzie (which ... do the presumptively BrE speakers involved (the stainer and the stainee) refer to ketchup as "ketchup" rather than "tomato sauce"?

Because in BrE "ketchup" means "tomato ketchup" by default.

In this incident it was very possibly from a bottle labelled "Heinz Tomato Ketchup".

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.u.e)
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