A word nerd goes for coffee

Hey, Dunkin, "Medium Hot" means what exactly?
Hey, Dunkin, “Medium Hot” means what exactly?

Most reasonable people who see this sign at a Dunkin Donuts will probably think, “Hey, a medium coffee for just 99 cents? What a deal!”

Me? I had the hardest time getting beyond the line that says “Medium Hot.” Isn’t “medium hot” just “warm”? Should it be “Medium, Hot”? And why is almost every word capitalized?

The sign reads:

Medium Hot
Dark Roast
For a Limited Time

Perhaps the “Medium” and the “Hot” should be separated by line breaks, so it reads:

Medium
Hot
Dark Roast
For a Limited Time

Right now, I can’t help but read “Medium Hot” as a euphemism for “warm,” instead of the first word referencing size of the coffee and the second temperature. But it isn’t like I wanted to be thinking about this stuff. The sign was large. It was right there in my way. I couldn’t get past it. In the end, I didn’t get any coffee. The sign, and the thinking it elicited, killed my buzz for a cup of joe.

Thanks, Dunkin.

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