The New York Times article (March 4) introduces top 10 ramen destinations in New York under the title, “Ramen’s Big Splash.” I was amazed to find that ramen acquired so much popularity among New Yorkers, in retrospect that I was unable to find a single ramen shop in Manhattan in mid-70s when I visited New York for the first time . After returning home, I recommended the owner of one of the largest Chinese restaurant chains in Tokyo to open rahmen shop in Manhattan. He scowled, and declared that there’s no way of ramen shop’s becoming a good business in U.S.
Idle talk aside, I was drawn to the word, “off-label” in the following sentence of the article:
“Another off-label use for ramen has been gathering strength in Japan and is a good bet to take off in New York: mazemen. Ramen without the slurp, mazemen has no broth, getting its flavor elsewhere. At Ivan Ramen, this can be from a mash of eggplant and chiles or, in my favorite example of the genre, caramelized garlic pulp.”
I understand “off-label” here implies “non-standard.” But as far as I’ve checked major online English dictionaries, definition of “off-label” is highly medicinal specific, and pretty serious.
CED: used to describe a medical drug that is used for a different purpose than the one it was originally intended for: Off-label uses may include giving a drug for a disease other than the disease it is approved for, or for treating a child when the product is approved to treat adults.
OED: relating to the prescription of a drug for a condition other than that for which it has been officially approved:
Merriam Webster English Dictionary: of, relating to, or being a drug used to treat a condition for which it has not been officially approved:
Wikipedia: Off-label use is the use of pharmaceutical drugs for an unapproved indication or in an unapproved age group, unapproved dosage, or unapproved form of administration. - - It does carry health risks and differences in legal liability.
Can the word “off-label” be used more broadly on anything such as foods, electric appliances and smart phones as used in the above article other than medical reference, just as a figurative expression?