I'm a horrible islander

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Wordspin18

Senior Member
Italian
Hello to everyone.

On an international American-based forum - or should I say In an international forum? - someone with a Columbian and Puerto Rican background, I guess she moved to the USA at a very early age, wrote:

" I'm a horrible islander because, gasp... I hate the taste of rum in food. "

I would like to know:
- Do islanders hate the taste of rum in food - horrible in this sentence stressing, in a way, the fact of being an islander?
- Or, quite on the contrary, islanders normally like the taste of rum in food, but the lady is a horrible islander, i.e. not much of an islander, and is therefore an exception to the general rule?

Since my high school years (very long ago) I sometimes incur in situations in which people give me the impression that they consider the question I ask so stupid - and the answer so obvious, that they doubt it is a (serious) question at all. This might very well be one of those occasions.

Thanks in advance for any reaction.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    If the people on the island are known for their love of rum, the woman is just saying that she doesn’t fit that stereotype since she doesn’t like rum. By calling herself a “horrible islander”, she’s just making fun of herself.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I imagine the island (or islands) the speaker is talking about is in the Caribbean, which is famous for rum.

    Possibly someone from Islay (an island in Scotland famous for its whiskies) might say something similar if they did not like whisky. However there isn't a general association between between living on an island and a liking for alcohol.

    The meaning is the second one of your two options.
     

    Wordspin18

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thanks a lot to both of you.

    Perhaps I should give more context, for I am still confused.

    1. I suggested a recipe for sweet Easter bread. Among the ingredients was rum.

    2. In comes the lady: "I'm a horrible islander because, gasp... I hate the taste of rum in food."
    To this she adds: "I wonder what I might use instead... maybe amaretto?"

    I wonder if the islanders who - I think - obviously love rum, it is their contribution to world heritage:
    - encourage its use in pastry
    or
    - approve only of drinking it pure and consider it a crime to add it to Easter bread.


    Do I understand correctly that both of you endorse the second solution of #1?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is quite possibly true that she likes rum as a drink but does not like the taste of it in food.

    However, she doesn’t actually state that. Neither does she make any specific mention of other “islanders”. Whatever you choose to read into her innocent remarks is pure conjecture.
     

    Wordspin18

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Kind of a crux interpretum?
    Hahaha, who knows if 1000-2000 years from now someone will read this and this thread will somehow preserve us from total oblivion:):).

    At present, however, your answer provides me with a massive dose of relief. Thank you.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    She takes it as a given, probably from personal experience among the other Caribbean islanders she knows, that the idea of putting rum in food is very popular. Most people like it. She considers herself an islander because that's where she came from. But she is a horrible islander (she doesn't live up to the usual standards of being an islander) because she doesn't like rum in food. She's making fun of herself a tiny bit. No one is going to expel her from being an islander because she doesn't like rum in food. It's not a huge, serious problem (horrible is an exaggeration) but it might cause her some problems when she goes to a party and all the desserts there have rum in them.

    She is not talking about what other people like or don't like or how they think rum should be used. All she is saying is, personally, she doesn't enjoy the taste of rum in food (which is unusual for an islander).
     

    Wordspin18

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you.
    Sometimes even an outsider like myself comes to acknowledge that there is an (Atlantic) ocean between British and American English.
    For the little I know, that is even more obvious for Iberian and Latin American Spanish.
     

    Wordspin18

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Most likely to my general confusion adds/added the fact that I do not drink any liquor myself.
    I find it difficult to understand that one does not want any rum in sweet Easter bread, but finds amaretto completely acceptable.

    Maybe for that reason I was pending towards the first possibility: horrible stressing, accentuating islander. Perhaps terrible instead of horrible in this context / type of sentence structure would have such a function in English and other languages and am I mixing up / confusing things.
     
    Last edited:

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It would be like an Italian saying they don't like pasta or a British person saying they don't like fish and chips.

    It would make them a poor representative of the rest.

    (I honestly don't know how popular fish and chips are these days. But it's definitely a stereotype set in stone.)
     
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