Or so someone said to me the other day. While he was referring to the modern Newspeak definition of “binge drinking”, that is, having more than three drinks in one session, rather than the original meaning of “drunk for days”, I could see what he meant. Drinking, at least in pubs, has become a specific leisure pursuit to be indulged on weekend evenings, and no longer something that is woven into the fabric of everyday life. Gone are the couple of pints on Friday lunchtime, the pre Sunday lunch appetiser, the swift call on your way home from work, the quick pub visit after the cinema or the football match.
This is reinforced by the increasingly widespread belief, which I have seen reflected in the comments on here, that as soon as a so much as a half of mild has crossed your lips, then the rest of the day has to be written off. Many pubs report business holding up well on Friday and Saturday nights, but for the rest of the week find themselves increasingly empty. And this is all part of the process of the insidious denormalisation of regular, moderate alcohol consumption which surely is the key to responsible drinking.