I went to a local cafe today. This cafe is known for many things, including having the best turkey sandwich outside of your own day-after-thanksgiving kitchen. And classic, mouthwatering pie. They bake fresh apple and cherry and blackberry and strawberry/rhubarb pies which you can devour there or take home with you where you can really get down. The place is rightfully proud of their pies. And so they’ve put out a table topper in an effort to playfully encourages customers to prove to themselves the superiority of this cafe’s pies.
“We DARE you to find a better pie!” it says.
The cafe believes that if you search the area for a better pie you will realize that such a thing does not exist, at which time you’ll return to their cafe, relish the chance to enjoy their pie again and remain a life-long loyalist having proven to yourself through research that theirs is the best pie.
That’s what the cafe wants their table topper to convey, I’m sure. But instead it threatens with an ominous tone.
I don’t think “Dare” is the word they should have chosen. I don’t think “Dare” is the idea they meant.
If I say to you “I challenge you to find a better pie,” the implication of that is that I don’t think there is a better pie and, therefore, I don’t think you’ll be able to find one and, consequently, you’ll share my conclusion that my pie is the best.
But if I say to you “I DARE you,” well then what I’m implying is that if you leave my establishment in order to find a better pie, you do so at significant risk to yourself. “I dare you to knock this chip off my shoulder” — do it and I’ll retaliate. “I dare you to cross this line” — do it and I’ll make you pay. “We DARE you to find a better pie!” — it’s out there, but if you take a bite, watch your back.