Monday, September 05, 2011

Recommended salt?

Shopping at the weekend and the store was broadcasting the radio rather than a looped CD. Up popped a report on salt levels mentioning the story that some take-away foods contained "an entire day of all the salt we're allowed".

Now I've dealt with RDA in the past, but this isn't about that. This is one of my 'on the use of language' posts. Perhaps it's me, but I detect a difference between "allowance" and "allowed" - the first, to me, is what you can get and the second is what you can have.

We're not allowed a certain level of salt we have an allowance recommended to us. No-one is going to stop me eating a packet of crisps because I've already consumed all the salt I'm allowed. It sounds petty, but consider the tone difference between "contains the entire recommended salt allowance for a day" and "contains all the salt we're allowed for a day".