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Came across a place with the name Best Bagel and Coffee. This naturally brought up a debate on the following, does "Best X and Y" mean:

  1. We have the best X AND best Y
  2. We have the best X, and also we happen to have Y

Why? How would you make it one of the other? Our office is split. Help!

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    "Best Bagel and coffee" could mean "the best bagel-and-coffee experience". The use of the singular/generic 'bagel' suggests that. – Michael Harvey Jan 8 at 16:46
  • While it's optional to repeat the adjective when two items go together, it helps to repeat it (or to use another adjective) when they don't. For example there's a bicycle shop I know in Saffron Walden (England) that also sells coffee and pastries. Best coffee and bicycles would certainly puzzle most people. – Ronald Sole Jan 9 at 0:53
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We have the best bagel and coffee.

sounds as if "bagel" and "coffee" formed a unit (mainly because of the singular "bagel"), that is, as if bagels and coffee were always served together.

If that were not the case, this might be a clearer slogan:

  • Our bagels and coffee are the best.
  • Agreed - the assumption seems to be that many people buy a bagel and a coffee together as one order. And if that's what you want, this is the place that claims to be the best. – Canadian Yankee Jan 9 at 0:03

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