Friday, March 05, 2010

Friday Sign of the Apocalypse: Now and Then

Than, people. Than. Everyone gets this wrong now and then, though. We like how they went all out with "unable to" instead of can't--is this why they ran out of steam when they came to abbreviating "management."

7 comments:

Barry Leiba said...

I don't have a problem with "unable to" vs "can't", so much as I insist that it's not "unable to", but "unwilling to" (or "won't"). I consider it a minor victory when I get someone to admit that it's not a question of ability, but of policy.

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Barry, we don't know about their mathematical ability. It's entirely possible they can't add more than $20 a time. Oh, but I kid!

Stan said...

Changing "unable to" to a more honest phrase would require that they take responsibility for their unwillingness. This would be a most radical step in management policy!

My first thought upon seeing the notice was: why are they thanking management? This peculiar, punctuation-based identity confusion seems to be prevalent among managers — here is a local equivalent.

Barry Leiba said...

Well, I don't know, Martha: I once bought $80 worth of goods at a store, back in the pre-computer Dark Ages, and the cashier couldn't figure the tax because the (paper) tax table she had to hand only went up to $70.

So maybe it is a matter of ability, after all.

PepGiraffe said...

But I give kudos. At least they can accept bills smaller than a $20 and not except them.

John Sturtevant said...

And why do they include the word "currently"? Do they mean their unwillingness or inability to handle Jacksons is temporary?

I suspect that comes from the good ol' days when TV stations would broadcast the mysterious missive: "We are currently experience technical difficulties."

They wanted to imply it was a momentary glitch, so we viewers wouldn't switch off the tube and play Scrabble instead.

Rebecca Swan said...

Stan, if the sign was addressing management, wouldn't it use a comma? "Thanks, Management." Though the other example you site looks strange indeed.