What would you think this phrase meant?

You ask someone if a restaurant takes credit cards and they reply, “Oh sure, they take Visa.”

Would you assume this meant:

  1. They take credit cards, including Visa.
  2. The speaker only can speak to whether they take Visa.
  3. They take only Visa.

I would assume #2, but be prepared for #3.

I would assume s/he uses the word “Visa” the same way folks say “Kleenex” when they mean tissue.

But I’d bring my Visa card as a backup anyway.

#2 seems the most reasonable interpretation.

#2. They take Visa.

Cher had my guess.

They take Visa and Mastercard.

I would ask about Discover and Amex.

#2, although “they take Visa and therefore most likely they take Mastercard and Amex as well” is possible also.


My vote.

Ref the OP itself:

Who is the “someone” who was asked? An employee, or a regular customer, a recent one-time customer, or somebody who kinda thinks maybe he/she ate there once? Is this person thorough or haphazard?

Choice #2 is the logically correct deduction from the text of the answer, but that assumes the speaker is a) correctly informed, and b) a careful and logical speaker. We have no info on either of those two points. So we’re all just guessing.
My personal take for similar situations is to always assume this:

  1. The person I’ve asked is guessing. My fault for wasting our collective time. Find a definitive source.

#2. He knows they take Visa; may or may not take others.

The restaurant is being compensated for saying they accept Visa and have told their employees to say this. They likely accept most types, but saying this increases the volume of charges run through Visa’s network. Was it high-end and/or a large chain, i.e., a place that would be on Visa’s radar?

They take Visa & MC.

Number 2

I would assume that this “someone” who replied, “Oh sure, they take Visa”, knows that the restaurant in question accepts Visa credit cards. I would have no idea what other credit cards the restaurant accepts, based solely on this fountain of information.

Accepted credit cards are usually posted near the front door of the restaurant.

If “someone” is a customer of the restaurant, I assume the restaurant accepts Visa and Mastercard.

If “someone” is an employee at the restaurant, I assume the restaurant accepts only Visa.

Except that, if “someone” is an employee of the restaurant, wouldn’t they have said “we take Visa”?

I would assume they took Visa only. If I only had Mastercard, I’d ask for clarification.

I’d be more worried if I only had American Express, or Discover, or Diner’s Club, or some other more obscure credit card.

I still remember Visa’s “It’s everywhere you want to be” ad campaign ("…and they don’t take American Express!" Sample commercial here). I can certainly imagine using my Visa card at a restaurant without paying any attention to which, if any, other credit cards they accept, and later, if asked whether they take credit cards, saying something like, “Oh sure, they take Visa.”

The response as phrased is what I would expect to hear from a customer who knows they take Visa and who likely assumes that therefore they take other cards as well, just like the great majority of retailers. Thus I would say it’s somewhat a combination of 1 and 2.

Of course I’m making an assumption which includes the speaker making an assumption, but that’s what I would think it meant.

If the speaker knew for sure that they take other cards, or knew for sure that they take only Visa, I’d expect a differently worded answer.

I’d take it as 2, and ask someone who knows for sure, expecting 3.