Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Immigrants/Shop lifting/ Use of the English Language

Three unconnected stories




Immigrants


Some Poles are moving into our neighborhood.


Shop Lifting


I walk at least 4 miles each day with my dog.  As a result, I wear through the soles of shoes in four to six months.  So I  went to my local Target Store this afternoon to but some new sneakers/trainers.

As I browsed I saw a pair of size 9 trainers/sneakers on the Target shelf.  I noticed that they were fairly dirty.

After a few seconds I "got it".  Some man had been in the store.  Then he had  left his old and grimy sneakers on the shelf, and walked out with a brand new pair.

I called an "Associate" to point out this "crime", but she was less than enthusiastic about  what I had found.  I suppose that my "find" was not rare.  It seems to be that many stores "write off" such shop-lifting as a matter of course.

Of course we are all paying that little bit more to cover shop-lifting losses such as this.

Use of the English Language


The following announcement was placed on my front door today.  It is from the Glen Oaks Ridge Condominium Association. I reproduce it exactly as it was written.


NOTICE
Wednesday August 31, 2011
Water will be Turned Off
From 9 AM - 2 PM
In Section 1 & Partial  Section II
By the City of Sarasota
To Replace the Association's Water Meter
Please Boil Your Drinking Water
For the Next 72 Hrs.
By request of the City of Sarasota.

Note, if you will, the odd way in which many words begin with  capital/upper case letters, I suppose that this is to indicate that this is a "very serious announcement". Thank goodness we were spared from a plethora of exclamation marks!!!!!!

But what I am supposed to do in response to directive to "Boil Your Drinking Water for the Next 72 Hrs". 

 Does this mean that I should boil drinking water for the seventy two hours after the notice was affixed to my front door?

Or should the notice have indicated that I should boil drinking water "subsequent" to the shut down of the water supply?

"Next" and "subsequent" are not synonyms.

Nor are "majority", "most" or "bulk" -  but you'd never know this by learning from the words of T.V. and radio reporters.

For example: What do reporters mean when they say (e.g.) "the bulk of people"?

T.T.F.N.    jmp


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