"There, there, give it to him!" whispered Mr. Starbuck in chapter 58 of "Moby-Dick," which I read on Monday night.
But it wasn't a cup of coffee that was given to a person -- it was a harpoon given to a whale. (Not the whale, but the first up-close whale encountered in the book.)
Fifty-eight chapters down, and Mr. Starbuck is a busy, whispering character -- but not the slightest bit thirsty, to all I've seen.
Whatever a certain coffee company meant by naming their coffee bars after him is still as big a puzzle as something else: There's only one Mr. Starbuck on the Pequod, the ship in the book. So why couldn't the Starbucks Coffee people have used an apostrophe?
For more fun with "Moby-Dick" and words generally, stop by the Margaret Serious page on Facebook.
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