a box of sweets

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raymondaliasapollyon

Senior Member
Chinese
I've found something new.

Valentines day is a great day to say I love you to your special someone. These baskets of sweets (cookies and pops) will certainly be a breath of fresh air to the traditional roses and cards.

bitesph
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Some recipes were for "sweets". Some were for cookies and other things.
    But would you deny that "sweets" are also "sweet treats"? A priori, the reverse is not necessarily true, but not necessarily false either.
    That's the crux of the question. When we see something is called a sweet treat, does that mean it is definitely not "sweets"?
    If you have not understood yet, "sweets" in BE do not refer to cookies, biscuits, cakes or macaroons. A "sweet" (AE candy) is as Keith described right at the beginning. The use of sweet as an adjective is unremarkable in the expression "sweet treat" and it could cover a wide range of items and might well include "sweets". I could imagine a parent trying to pacify a crying child: "OK if you stop crying I'll give you a treat. Would you like a sweet or a macaroon?"

    If you are trying to apply formal logic to English usage, then I recommend you give up right now:D
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If you have not understood yet, "sweets" in BE do not refer to cookies, biscuits, cakes or macaroons. A "sweet" (AE candy) is as Keith described right at the beginning. The use of sweet as an adjective is unremarkable in the expression "sweet treat" and it could cover a wide range of items and might well include "sweets". I could imagine a parent trying to pacify a crying child: "OK if you stop crying I'll give you a treat. Would you like a sweet or a macaroon?"
    :thumbsup: I was writing something along the same lines, but you've said it better.

    If you are trying to apply formal logic to English usage, then I recommend you give up right now:D
    :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    These baskets of sweets (cookies and pops)
    This is from a predominantly cupcake and cookie site. The bag of 'sweets' are actually cookies and 'pops' - as the author carefully explains in brackets.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    When we see something is called a sweet treat, does that mean it is definitely not "sweets"
    Please note:
    When we see something is called a sweet (adjective) treat, does that mean it is definitely not "sweets" (noun)

    Compare:
    When we see someone is called a sweet (adjective) girl, does that mean she is definitely not "sweets" (noun)
     

    raymondaliasapollyon

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    :thumbsup: I was writing something along the same lines, but you've said it better.


    This is from a predominantly cupcake and cookie site. The bag of 'sweets' are actually cookies and 'pops' - as the author carefully explains in brackets.
    Yes, but that also shows for the particular author, "sweets" include cookies. Why would s/he have put "cookies and pops" right after "sweets" if "cookies and pops" were not considered "sweets"?
     

    raymondaliasapollyon

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Please note:
    When we see something is called a sweet (adjective) treat, does that mean it is definitely not "sweets" (noun)

    Compare:
    When we see someone is called a sweet (adjective) girl, does that mean she is definitely not "sweets" (noun)
    That's a different, and irrelevant, sense of sweet.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, but that also shows for the particular author, "sweets" include cookies. Why would s/he have put "cookies and pops" right after "sweets" if "cookies and pops" were not considered "sweets"?
    The author put "cookies and pops" in brackets right after "sweets" to explain that the things that look like sweets, and are packaged to look like sweets, are in fact 'cookies and pops', and not sweets.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes, but that also shows for the particular author, "sweets" include cookies. Why would s/he have put "cookies and pops" right after "sweets" if "cookies and pops" were not considered "sweets"?
    They felt the need to explain that particular use of the word sweets? Why would they feel that need if the use of "sweets" to cover "cookies and pops" was widespread. Ergo ( :eek: ), it's not widespread and needs the explanation.
    (Cross-posted)
    Would you be so kind as to re-state the proposition you are arguing for?
     

    raymondaliasapollyon

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    They felt the need to explain that particular use of the word sweets? Why would they feel that need if the use of "sweets" to cover "cookies and pops" was widespread. Ergo ( :eek: ), it's not widespread and needs the explanation.
    (Cross-posted)
    Would you be so kind as to re-state the proposition you are arguing for?
    Granted, it is certainly possible that they feel the need to explain that particular use of the word 'sweets'. But it is hardly surprising. The word sweets is so generic, and the consumer would thus need to know what kind of "sweets" is offered. The designation 'sweets' gives little information as to what exactly they were offering. Hence the need to put cookies and pops in brackets.

    I'm trying to evaluate every argument logically here. That's simply the way to sound argumentation.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Still not sure what you are driving at in this thread:(
    .
    Simple question: Have you yet accepted that BE usage of the word "sweets" is as described by Keith above and does not include other sweet things like cookies, biscuits, macaroons etc? Or are you arguing against that?
    (Whether, in a parallel universe perhaps, it should include them, is, of course, not relevant to the issue:))
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Not all sweets (as defined in #3) taste sweet, a 70-85% chocolate is more bitter than sweet, and there are a lot of sour sweets,but they still belong to the group sweets in BE.
    Indeed:thumbsup:
    Here is what BE people think of when you ask about sweets
    Favourite traditional British sweets: in pictures
    Do some people use "sweets" in a broader sense? Sometimes. But this thread strongly suggests that it's rare. (We cannot tell Raymond that it "absolutely never" happens, so perhaps that "concession" will satisfy his need for discussion:))
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    The original question has been amply discussed. Thank you to all who participated. This thread is closed.

    Florentia52, moderator
     
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