Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Misfortune Cookie

OK, so this didn't come from a fortune cookie, even if it looks like it. 

Instead, it's a sign Alex F. found inside a bathroom at a park.
 
The toilet had but one handle, which would've matched the "it will malfunction" bit of the sentence so much better.

Then again, maybe rough treatment of the handle causes the toilet to malfunction.

This is the problem with pronouns. They need to match the antecedent (the noun that comes first). If a sentence (or toilet fortune) is missing its antecedent, confusion and possibly bathroom flooding can result.

In any case, all of this makes us wonder about the people who clobber public toilet handles. The less contact with these, the better. But maybe that's just us.

1 comment:

preciseedit said...

Also, "Thank you, Park Staff" leaves me wondering why we're thanking the park staff.

If Bob gives me a cookie, I'll say, "Thank you, Bob." If my father gives me good advice, I'll say, "Thank you, Dad." These responses have the same construction as "Thank you, Park Staff." So what are we thanking them for? Perhaps they are intended audience for this instruction, and we're thanking them in advance for obeying it?