her beefsteak is too ripe

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quietdandelion

Banned
Formosa/Chinese
Amy suddenly condemned the waiter because her beefsteak was too ripe.


Does the underlined part sound right? Do I have to reword it as "her beefsteak was overcooked/overdone?" Thanks.
 
  • sarcie

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    I'm not sure I understand what the original sentence is getting at - but I would reword it, once I had clarified the meaning, as follows:

    Amy (suddenly) complained to the waiter because her steak was too rare/overdone.

    I don't think we "condemn" a waiter for something like this!

    Steak is more common than beefsteak. If it is another type of meat, it is usually specified (pork steak, etc.)

    Rare = undercooked, overdone = overcooked.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    However, there is also a variety of tomato called beefsteak - and that could well be overripe.
    I wondered about that, too. :) It seems strange to hear "beefsteak" without some reference to either "tomato" or "salad", but the image of a "ripe" steak is repugnant. I hope it's "tomato" and not actually a steak.
     

    domangelo

    Senior Member
    United States English
    I have a completely different take on this. It seems to me that someone confused "ripe" (meaning mature) with "overdone", quite the opposite of rare.

    Also, I agree that beefsteak is not good in English. Steak is better, beefsteak being the cut of meat. The word beefsteak has entered other languages in the place of steak.

    As for the tomato, it is a beefsteak tomato, I presume because it is used with steak, or because it is juicy. If one calls it a beefsteak, they are using an abbreviated form. However, I have never heard anyone simply call that tomato a "beefsteak", I don't think it is a good idea to do so. That is a case of using the adjective to stand in for the noun, never a good idea.


    Thus, I think it should be, "her steak was overdone."
     

    divisortheory

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Honestly, and maybe this is just me, I would almost never recommend use of the word beefsteak, since it can be interepreted as having a sexual meaning. When I first saw the title of this post, I thought that's what this was going to be about, in fact.

    In any case, you should definitely never use the word beefsteak to refer to an actual steak (a cut of meat), even if it is made out of beef because people will inevitably interpret it wrong.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I agree with all the other posters about the use of "beefsteak" and "ripe". I wonder, however, at the use of "suddenly condemned"... I'm not really sure what "condemning" the waiter involves. Are we talking "off with his head!" or simply yelling at him? Regardless, it seems an awfully strong word to use.

    "Suddenly" seems misplaced in this sentence as well. Was there some preceding action that we don't know about that would "suddenly" turn Amy from a pleasant dinner companion into a shrew? The whole sentence leaves me cold.
     

    burbanksteve

    New Member
    USA, English
    This is certainly referring to a beefsteak tomato. Given that it is "too ripe" I wouldn't require any clarification that the beefsteak is a tomato - to me, it's obvious.

    To me, it would be like expecting that the phrase "the Corvette was white" included a clarification that a Corvette is a car.
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian

    domangelo

    Senior Member
    United States English
    I am really surprised that there are people that automatically think of a tomato when they hear the word "beefsteak". Is this a California thing, I wonder (given the names of the two contributors). I don't think the rest of us have gotten that far yet.
     

    burbanksteve

    New Member
    USA, English
    I am really surprised that there are people that automatically think of a tomato when they hear the word "beefsteak". Is this a California thing, I wonder (given the names of the two contributors). I don't think the rest of us have gotten that far yet.
    I'm a food lover and an amateur chef, so I suppose it's something at the front of my vocabulary. I'd have the same reaction if I read something like "the heirloom was served with a splash of balsamic" - I'd know it was a tomato sprinkled with vinegar.
     

    jardin161

    New Member
    USA; English
    I think divisortheory may be confusing “beefsteak” with the term “beefcake”, slang for a sexy, well built man. “Beefsteak” is a perfectly acceptable word.

    It is essential to know if Amy is having a problem with a piece of meat or a vegetable.

    Since quietdandelion’s gave the options “overcooked/overdone”, I presume it is a piece of meat and would say the meat was “overcooked” (if it was "undercooked" it would be "too rare"). If it is a vegetable, I would say “too ripe” or “overripe”.

    A piece of meat can be “too ripe”, but that would mean it spells and is decaying.

    Where I live, when talking about a cut of meat, a “steak” is presumed to be a “beefsteak.” I have seen recipes an menus use the term “beefsteak”, but otherwise, it is uncommon to hear anyone use the word “beefsteak” unless some clarification is essential.

    “Beefsteak tomatoes” are a very popular variety of tomato, but I doubt the average person knows they exist. If I see the word “beefsteak” alone, I immediately think “steak” not “tomato”. If I see "beefsteak"+"too ripe" I think "tomato".
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    Steaks are almost always assumed to be beefsteaks. A steak comes in 5 different states; rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well-done.

    A beefsteak tomato can be overripe (which is close to rotting). If a piece of meat is overripe, it is also close to being a rotten piece of meat.
     

    JeffJo

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, English
    I agree that "beefsteak" will mean "steak" in nearly all cases. Or, vice versa. There are restaurants that call it "beefsteak" to make it sound thicker. They'll have both "steak" and "broiled beefsteak" on the menu, the latter more expensive, even though the two are essentially the same.

    Also agreed, don't call meat "ripe" unless you're holding your nose at the time.
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I dare barge in again in this very interesting conversation because I believe we're kind of barking at the wrong tree.

    Take a look at the whole sentence, keeping in mind this is most likely a school assignment.

    Amy suddenly condemned the waiter because her beefsteak was too ripe.
    Do you really think that a student who wrote condemned instead of complained/criticised would make such subtle connections as you have?
    Would [s]he know about tomatoes and such? :)

    We should probably ask QD if the words for ripe and cooked are similar or at least somewhat resembling each other in his native language. That's where I'm guessing the problem resides.
     

    domangelo

    Senior Member
    United States English
    If this is a school assignment, as Trisia suggests, then I believe that the students are being asked to write on a level way beyond their abilities, and all the corrections in the world will not help them very much, as the corrections are on a semantic level that they have not already attained. However, I believe that this is a narrative that QuietDandelion is writing, and so I say good luck to you, Dandelion, and I hope that you are learning lots of English in this excruciating exercise so that you don't have to go through this again.
     

    Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    At the rist of ranting off-topic, QD seems to be the mean teacher that put the students through this ordeal :D

    See the links I gave in post #12
     

    domangelo

    Senior Member
    United States English
    In this case, Trisia, I believe that QD would serve her students much better by giving them assignments that correspond better to their level. Correction should be at Comprehension + 1, meaning one step beyond the students' level, not "comprehension + 10", which is what she has here. I am afraid most of this will just go right over their heads.
     
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