Berries are berry confusing

FLORENCE WITKOP

2018 5 12

As a writer, I know words are important. I also know that language evolves and words change. Still — shouldn’t a berry be a berry? No matter the year, the century, the country or the language, shouldn’t a person be confident knowing that something labled ‘berry’ is actually what the label says?

Nope! Doesn’t happen!

Avacados are technically berries. When I read that, I couldn’t believe it. I looked it up. Then I looked up the definition of a berry. And that’s when I learned that everything I thought I knew about berries was wrong.

According to the scientific definition, a berry is a single, round fleshy fruit with a seed or seeds that’s produced from a single ovary.

So — grapes are berries. So are tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants and bananas.

What are NOT berries? Strawberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Mulberries. In spite of their names, none of them are technically berries.

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