'expensive' vs 'affordable'

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By buying directly from fishing boats, the restaurant keeps its lobster menu __________.

a. shabby
b. effortless
c. expensive
d. affordable

I am confused between C and D.
Because of buying directly from fishing boats, the fish from the boats is very fresh, and so it could be expensive.
Or, because of buying directly from fishing boats, there are no middlemen or retaliers, and then the fish from the boats could be affordable.

What do you think of that?
 
  • Rational_gaze

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's because they are 'keeping' something affordable.

    If they were 'keeping' something expensive, they would do it by giving something a high price, while making sure people still buy it (by making it fashionable through advertising, etc.)

    They would be keeping the final price high, but that would happen irrespective of the costs to the restaurant.

    If the sentence was to express that the freshness meant that the lobsters must be expensive, then it might read something like "Because they buy directly from fishing boats, the lobsters on the restaurant's menu are expensive".
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I believe you have every reason to hesitate between the two, ilovepsycho. This is rather a trade issue than a linguistic one. You never know what weird commercial approach the fishermen have adopted in this particular area :)
    Unless, of course, someone tells us that we cannot use "expensive" for some language reason.
     

    kar1181

    New Member
    English - British
    Would you tell me why 'expensive' is not correct?
    By buying direct from someone, as opposed to buying something via an intermediary, you usually get a cheaper price.

    Any intermediary between the source of a product (in this case the fisherman) and the end buyer (the restaurant) adds their expenses+profit to the product which makes a good more expensive.

    The emphasis is on the 'buying directly from the fishing boats', which makes the subordinate clause following relative to that.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    By buying direct from someone, as opposed to buying something via an intermediary, you usually get a cheaper price.

    Any intermediary between the source of a product (in this case the fisherman) and the end buyer (the restaurant) adds their expenses+profit to the product which makes a good more expensive.

    The emphasis is on the 'buying directly from the fishing boats', which makes the subordinate clause following relative to that.
    While I fully and unreservedly agree that this is the normal market logic and I would also choose "affordable", I still maintain that different logic, albeit somewhat devious, also exists.

    In a communist country, until 20-25 years ago, one might choose to buy "fresh goods" directly from the producer at higher rates, as opposed to buying "stale" or "inferior" goods at lower prices from the (government regulated) marketplace.

    If you gave a test question like that to a kid of that time, you could never be sure you would get the right answer.
    Is there a language reason why "expensive" should be impossible?
     

    Rational_gaze

    Senior Member
    British English
    Regardless of if buying direct is more expensive or less expensive for the restaurant, the syntax of the sentence simply doesn't allow for 'expensive' to be an answer that makes sense.

    You do not 'keep' a final price as high by having high raw material costs, although having high raw material costs might well necessitate a high final price.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    ...although having high raw material costs might well necessitate a high final price.
    ... so the restaurant may actually be compelled to "keep" it high?

    No, forget it. :) I'll not die arguing about it. In fact, I'm quite happy with "affordable" :)

    PS. Come to think of it, the sentence "By buying directly from fishing boats, the restaurant keeps its lobster menu expensive" might imply the restaurant owner actually wants to keep the prices high :) ?
     
    Last edited:

    Rational_gaze

    Senior Member
    British English
    ... so the restaurant may actually be compelled to "keep" it high?
    Yes, but then the sentence would probably be something like "Because they buy directly from fishing boats, the restaurant is compelled to keep its lobster menu expensive".

    Perhaps I should shut up and let someone who can actually explain these things have a go. :)
     
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