The official Starbucks size naming scheme mixes pretentious use of Italian, and lies. The correlation goes roughly like this:

  • "Tall", which in the context of a drink seems synonymous with "large",
  • "Grande", which of course is Italian for "big", and
  • "Venti", which means "twenty," which is the number of ounces.

Originally, in their "home town" of Seattle, they offered Short and Tall, but as tastes for their excellent coffee grew, they introduced Grande, and then Venti, and removed the original Short from the menu. I think Short is still available from under the counter, and used for things like to-go espresso.

In other words, the lowest advertised size denomination at Starbucks is referred to by a terminology that implies "large". They've shifted the scale completely up! There isn't even "medium" any longer! Surely the apocalypse is nigh...