I was texting Ms. D some time ago when she said she was having tendon for dinner. “What cuisine is that,” I asked. And she replied as-a-matter-of-factly, “Japanese,” wondering why I asked such a question.
Thinking it was beef tendon (gyusuji in Japanese), I said, “because you typed that in English, I had thought it was some other cuisine.” And our conversation on that topic ended there. That is until a while later when I realised she was having tendon (tempura donburi or tempura rice bowl), and not (beef) tendon.
As English expands its arsenal by borrowing words from other languages, could communication someday break down when it becomes difficult to tell one word from another?