Friday, November 26, 2010
THINGS THAT SUCK #1: “Receipt Desired?”
Okay, the series begins. Our first entry comes with a picture, but if I have my druthers (and need gasoline), I will take a better picture, as I could easily create a “Things That Suck” entry for this picture because it sucks.
But today’s entry on observing suckage in the world features a language choice that I find very puzzling. Brace yourself. Most of my “Things That Suck”–or if you prefer “Stuff That Bugs Me” or “Things That Piss Me Off”–will consist of language stuff. After all, I am a writer and an English teacher hence my personal bent.
For out-of-towners, those not indigenous to southwest Michigan, I need to explain “Meijer” ; for the locals, you know. “Meijer” (as opposed to “Meijers,” which will surely be a future “Things That Suck” blog) is a local department store and grocery with its own gasoline station out front of its “hypermart.”
After pumping one’s own gasoline at the Meijer station, using the pay-at-the-pump option, the screen on the pump console displays the following message: “receipt desired?” Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I reserve the word “desire” for things that, well, I actually desire, such as fine foods (sushi), good wine (Malbec), and sex (ahem!) among other things. I do not “desire” receipts. I simply want one.
By the strictest definition of the word, yes, I do “desire” receipts as a desire can be a request or petition in both verb and noun form. However, more commonly, one uses the verb “desire” for wishes and longings. The definition of “desire” does utilize the word “longing” explicitly.
And so, “desire” is just not the right word in this situation.
Why use “receipt desired?” ?
Why not simply use: “do you want a receipt?” ?
Or even, the far more simple: “receipt?” ?
After all, the screen provides the yes and no choices with corresponding buttons. A simple display of the question with the one word–“receipt?”–would suffice.
Though this abuse of the English language bothers me, I am also very curious about who made the decision to use the word “desire” and if any discussion ensued. Did the Meijer braintrust perform a brainstorming exercise and selected the phrase from a list of possible choices? Or did one enterprising person decide that we gasoline tank fillers “desire” our receipts?
In any case, it sucks. It bugs me. Though, really, it does not PISS ME OFF, so I will not tag it with the latter. Humph.
~chris of suckage reporting - 1011.26-14:50
PS: The double-question marks may look odd, but since I am not only questioning a quote, but questioning a quote that is a question, then I am pretty sure that they are correct. :-)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Hi bloggy world. It's been a while. Why have I been away? Lots of reasons. Work. I got married. More work. Devoting what little free time I have to fiction. And the ever lingering "sense of doubt," for which this blog is named: thanks yous and shouts out to Misters Bowie and Eno.
Anywho, this is the RETURN OF DOUBT with a new purpose to drive me: I need exercise. My writing muscle has gone flabby. I need to work the muscle. Please, no sexual innuendoes. I am being serious.
So here we go, peeps. We're flying into a new series of short blogitions that will keep me limber and lithe.
I will tag the forthcoming posts twice as both THINGS THAT SUCK and THINGS THAT PISS ME OFF as long as both conditions exist simultaneously. Because sometimes those things that suck, do not piss me off, they just make me sigh heavily (as Joss Whedon just wrote in response to WB taking on and rebooting HIS property, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Read about that HERE.)
And so in the spirit of other great blogentrepeneurs, such as the original THINGS THAT SUCK, which seems defunct, and one of my faves, STUFF THAT BUGS ME, which is active, I launch my own series of aggravations, annoyances, and general bugfoolery. Feel free to leave comments with your own stuff that gets under the skin and burrows a nest in your dermal layer.
And I am happy about this... Happy Thanksgiving for a world of people who do annoying crap!
- the tower of christopher 1011.24 (and now to work, which bugs me...)