Call me pernickety, but I have a personal grudge against the word "snack", as in "who is bringing snack for the kids' bocce team" or "she won't be hungry for the seitan tacos because she had snack." Remember when a pack of pretzels called for an indefinite article - as in "did you have a snack at school today" - or perhaps a plural - as in "did they have snacks at the end of the meet?"
It's hard to provide a precise explanation for this odious turn, but we know one thing: the stature of the casual munch is on the rise. Snack has been installed as the fourth, and in many cases, fifth meal of the day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. The nutrition experts and pediatricians are wringing their hands about this development for good cause: all the extra meals may end up fattening up our youngsters. And the experts fear that this leads to lifelong obesity, early onset diabetes, etc. etc. etc.
But I'm agitated for a different reason. I just can't get comfortable with new singular. In my view, a parent ought to send a snack, or snacks, to school. And if we surrender to this snack-attack at school, can we at least draw a hard line at our front doors? At home, if nowhere else, I want to know my child is having a snack - two snacks if she chooses both the Pirates Booty and the Oreos.
And yes, I did choose pernickety over persnickety - much as I prefer kerfuffle to kerfluffle.