Check out this scene in a faux Starbucks from Role Models. -- a scene about Starbucks language and protests against it. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkpDEn7mGVY)
And here is another play on Starbucks order (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNHa4dPCH1k)
And another (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFLs9RI8mSA&feature=fvw)
I heard this again and again during my research. I call it boycotting the language of Starbucks. Lots of people have told me or wrote on-line that they boycott the company’s inflated, pseudo Italian language. "I sure as hell won't say Venti or anything," Scott Kinder wrote on his blog, "In fact, I go out of my way to say SMALL, MEDIUM, or LARGE. I think it's just a marketing ploy." When I first started observing Starbucks, a friend said to me, "Okay, I go, but I won’t say any of those stupid words. What is it tall means small? That's ridiculous." Since then, I have heard lines just like this again and again. Brimming with nearly righteous indignation, another person told me, "I just go right up to counter and say, give me a small coffee." Sometimes, I imagine these language boycotters ordering their coffees in simple, clear, everyday words with their fists raised like Tommie Smith on the podium at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. “A medium coffee, please, and by the way, stick it to the man.”
But in many ways this is really a protest against corporate power and control, an attempt to gain an everyday advantage over big companies and their spreading influence over business, politics, and even words. At the same time, it says something about the limits of our politics, doesn't it?