For example, you may say "No pickles" on a burger order but if a pickle must strictly mean an intact pickled cucumber, then you could never ask for "No pickles" as no common burger has multiple whole pickled cucumbers to begin with. I think it's fair to say that interpreting it this way would be against the grain.

For context: This comes from an argument about whether or not a bag of 9 pickle slices could be said to contain "9 pickles." The conversation is informal and the bag is small and has a picture of pickle slices on it. I am arguing that "pickle" can be shorthand to refer to a slice of a pickle, given the context of knowing there are slices involved and not a whole pickled cucumber. To give something more succinct to answer, I would also accept an answer to whether or not I am correct in this argument.

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    Ah, but would you argue that a pack of 9 turkey slices contains 9 turkeys? Feb 26 '19 at 17:01
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    Was Peter Piper involved at all?
    – Skooba
    Feb 26 '19 at 17:18
  • @Weather Vane No this is specific to pickles. I grew up around the use of the term pickle to refer to a slice of pickle in the context that no whole pickles are involved. I guess what I am trying to get at is not necessarily whether it is strictly correct, but whether it is not only understood but appropriate given the context and setting of the conversation. Feb 26 '19 at 17:33
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    From the first part I suppose so. If I ask for "no onion" or "no onions" I would not expect onion in the food, whether whole, chopped, or sliced. Feb 26 '19 at 17:35
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    @RobertTalada WeatherVane's point is that if you ordered 10 X's, you'd be upset if all you got were 10 slices of X. A pickle slice is made of pickle but is not a whole pickle. In your argument about 'no pickle', you'd be upset if there was any pickle, whole or sliced involved
    – Mitch
    Feb 26 '19 at 17:40

I believe you are incorrect.

In the first paragraph you correctly surmise that "no pickle" refers to any amount of pickle, but the food in a package is quite different.

Suppose you place an order for "a box of 9 turkeys" and are given a pack of 9 turkey slices, you would rightly feel cheated.

It's a different matter if you are looking at a particular pack of pickles and refer to one slice as "a pickle" because there is no possibility for confusion, especially as pickles are not always whole. If I ask for a "pickle tray" in a restaurant they certainly won't be whole but are referred to as "pickles".

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