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March 07, 2008

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On the other hand, Starbucks has registered VENTI with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=mp8fi7.3.25

So I would surmise that Starbucks walks the fine line treaded by many an owner of a well-known trademark - it would love to see its trademark propagated in popular culture, but only up to a point. One can be sure that it would come down hard on any other purveyor of coffee-based beverages who tried to offer a "venti" instead of a "large".

I have a real (and slightly irrational) issue with the way Starbucks names its drink sizes:

Tall - sounds large, actually it's small, or as close as you can get to small in a Starbucks.

Grande - sounds massive, but really it's medium. Although because I'm British, it's too much for me to stomach.

Venti - yes, I know it's Italian for 'twenty', but to those of use who don't speak the language, this could be a small funky car ('The Fiat Venti - squeezes into the smallest spaces'). But actually it's enough coffee to swim in.

It's an absolute triumph of crap marketing spiel over clarity. When did small, medium and large stop being acceptable ways to describe sizes?

John - you can in fact get a "short" at Starbucks: an 8oz cup, smaller than a "tall." It's not on the menu but I've never been in a Starbucks where they wouldn't make me my standard drink, a double short skim latte.

Otherwise I am in complete agreement with your comment.

In complete agreement, and yet he still has a standard drink at Starbucks. :-P

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