“Barista” Banned by Finicky Feds

 

The Standard Occupational Classification Policy Committee of the Bureau of Labor Statistics has nixed the word “Barista:”

“(part I) Docket No. 08-1081 requested adding “barista” as an illustrative example for 35-3022 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop. The SOCPC did not accept this recommendation. Depending on the work performed, baristas can be classified in more than one occupation, including 35-2021 Food Preparation Workers, 35-3021 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Fast Food, and 35-3022 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop. The SOCPC recommended classifying workers who perform duties combining preparation and serving of non-alcoholic beverages in 35-3021 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food, and modifying the definition to clarify their inclusion.”

That sounds suspiciously like the prose of confirmed tea drinkers.

In any case, the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) is merely used by government agencies that collect and publish occupational data at the Federal level.

The late William Safire noted the word’s arrival in the 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in 2003:

“Waitrons (nope; that overly nonsexist term never made it) will be happy to see barista, ‘a person who makes and serves coffee (as espresso) to the public.’”

The Urban Dictionary claims the term is derived from the Italian for “I was an Art History major.”

Frankly, we’re partial to the term “Java-Jockey” ourselves.

 

Image (“Neo-Nighthawks, after Edward Hopper”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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