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What we have here is a failure to communicate
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:59 PM
SpyOne SpyOne is offline
Deluxe Lackey
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, USA, Sol3
Posts: 350
Default What we have here is a failure to communicate

My mother taught English, my father taught Communication.
So I understand far better than most that the point of "correct" grammar is to make communication clear.

For example, "Give me two packs of BC powders" and "Give me a two pack of BC powders" mean different things. "Give me two pack of BC powders" could mean either of them. You need to consistently use the article and/or pluralize "pack" into "packs" or you are being unclear.
Most of my customers, however, seem to be fine with being unclear.

Some others from the hit parade:
"Can I still buy liquor?"
Correct answer: "Not here. We are only licensed to sell beer and wine. And malt liquor, which the law says is beer."
But you didn't actually mean "liquor", you meant "alcoholic beverages". It would be so nice if you said that.

"What time do you stop serving beer?"
"We never serve beer. Consuming beer on our premises is a crime. We sell beer."

And number one on my current list of grievances:
"What pump is the grey car at?"
My complaint here relates to how my father used to say "Ask the question you want the answer to." By which he meant that one should ask "If you are near a store later could you pick me up some popsicles" instead of asking "Are you going to the grocery store today?"
Because among other things the answer to the first might be yes when the answer to the second would be no. Don't try to lead someone down a path of questions, get the whole concept out there for them to agree or disagree.

See, you have no use for the number of that pump other than to say it right back to me. You aren't going to remember it, you aren't trying to figure out how we number the pumps (it isn't complicated: most chimps and some parrots could figure it out but it seems to elude most of you).
So instead of making it two questions, make it one: "Could I please get $10 in gas on whatever pump that grey car is at?" Otherwise you are just rudely wasting time.


Oh, one more thing: it is night time, the windows are tinted, and the lights are blue. Cars come in two colors: light, and dark. I honestly can't say whether that car is red or green, and the only reason you know is you've seen it in daylight. Figure out some other way to identify your car, because half the cars out there might be "blue" so that doesn't help me.