Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Headline writer gets "D" in history

The author of the press release didn't write this headline and the author of the study most certainly did not. This goof-up falls on the head of a junior editor who needs to stay after school for some remedial history lessons.
Did ancient coffee houses lay the groundwork for modern consumerism?

If you think that your favorite coffee shop is a great gathering place for discussion, you should have been around in the Ottoman Empire starting in the 1550s. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines the role of coffee houses in the evolution of the consumer.

Authors Eminegül Karababa (University of Exeter, Exeter, UK) and Güliz Ger (Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey) dug wide and deep into the history of coffeehouses in the early modern Ottoman Empire and found they offered their patrons a lot more than coffee. [My italics]

The sixteenth century is not ancient, it isn't even medieval. In Europe, that century is called the Renaissance and, even though they did not share in the Renaissance, it's not ancient in the Islamic world either. If the headline writer had actually read the press release, he (she/it?) would have seen the phrase "eary modern" used twice and found out that the title of the articl that the press release announced is "Early Modern Ottoman Coffeehouse Culture and the Formation of the Consumer Subject." So, call your mom, kid; you'll be missing the bus for some private tutoring today.

PS The article itself sounds pretty interesting.

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