Native English speakers: Is this sentence grammatically possible for you?
I like barbecue.
If so, what kind of food does "barbecue" refer to? What do you think of? Brazilian barbecue? Korean barbecue? Tennessee barbecue (Jamie?).
Yes, we agree that barbecue is a noun to refer to a party, such as "I'm having a barbecue at my house tomorrow." It can also be a noun for the actual grill, like "I bought a new barbecue for my husband for his birthday."
There is also the verb "to barbecue," like, "I barbecued steak for dinner". The verb lends itself to the participle, like in "I like barbecued ribs."
But can you use barbecue as a uncountable noun that is synonymous with food?
Don't look in dictionaries, please. Just tell me if the sentence "I like barbecue" sounds good to you or sounds strange to you. Is it something you would say?
If you've been living in another country for a while and listening to non-native speakers speak English all day, be careful. Some things become acceptable after hearing them a million times. So try to remember when you first moved to the country and if a sentence like "I like barbecue" or "I had barbecue for dinner" sounded strange to you.
I have to say that it's really strange for me to use "barbecue" like this. But I think it's becoming acceptable in English because so many other languages have an uncountable noun for "barbecue", and when the cultures come into the US, their speakers bring the word with them. (So that's why you can find "Korean barbecue" in the US.)
However, I grew up on the west coast. The exactly two instances that I've heard native speakers use "barbecue" like this were both referring to southern states. Is it a regional thing?
Discuss! (And I hope this didn't make you too hungry.) :)