Without question

Whatever do they mean?

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I wonder how many meetings and arguments might have taken place to arrive at this toilet paper being called ‘Eloquence’. Of all the words in the English language, why was this selected? What tickles me even further is the word ‘Premium’ printed above it.

What does the word premium really mean, in relation to toilet paper? Does that mean that it is the best that human engineering can make? What is better or higher or stronger or softer or nicer or more usable or more useful than ‘premium’? I am not sure that anything can be better than premium. Hang on a minute. In ‘ice cream’ circles, you can delight in ‘super premium’. So now the very best can be even better? Where can it end?

Every conflict, whether it involves military intervention or domestic violence or sibling rivalry, seems to have one thing in common: sloppy communications. Words and language are vital for human interaction. When people cannot be everywhere at once, they use signs to speak on their behalf. I wonder how much effort goes into the non-verbal communications process. This drinking-hole has a happy hour, where one hour goes on for five hours. I know that it does not matter, but if it does not matter, then what does matter? Sloppy language ought to matter, because to me, it is an early warning signal to sloppy thinking. And you know where that can lead.

At a hospital, I found this poster, advising patients and staff members alike to RACE in the event of an emergency. The acronym states: Remove people from immediate danger; Alert emergency number and nearby staff; Confine fire and smoke if practicable by closing windows and doors; and Extinguish or control fire if safe to do so. The only problem with this acronym is that it flies in the face of the decades of pleading with the public to stay calm, don’t panic, don’t rush, don’t run. ‘Race’ is hardly the word that goes with ‘calm’.

I am instantly drawn to query why someone would tell me something on the one hand, if they would never tell me about the other hand. For example, why tell me that Central Parking Systems or Secure Parking are both proud to be managing the Sydney Airport Car Parks? Do these organisations perform their commitments due to their pride, or due to their financial desires to secure more business? Where does pride come into it? Why tell me that they are proud? Exactly who is proud? And for how long? What about the other emotions that might be felt by staff members who might find it a burden or a bother? Would they ever post a sign that says, ‘Sydney Airport Car Parks are begrudgingly managed by…’?

This sign says, ‘Any lost tickets “Entry” or “Exit” incur full days (sic) rate. This measure is for security purposes’. Can anyone please tell me how this measure helps in terms of security? It might be a nuisance when customers lose their tickets. But if you can prove when they entered, it becomes nothing more than mean-spirited conduct to charge someone a full rate. Be that as it may, how does charging someone a full day’s rate help in terms of security? I really would like to know. I hate jumping to conclusions and criticising if I am not fully aware of the facts. However, nothing comes to mind. Maybe there is a fantastic reason behind this. I just can’t work it out. Thieves who decide to steal a car, would do so whether they had to pay for three hours or a full day’s rate. They would go in, say that they had lost their ticket, pay the full day’s rate, and out they drive with someone’s Ferrari. So how does paying the full day’s rate stop theft? What security are they talking about? Or do they mean that they are trying to stop cheats. In which case, this is not a question of security. How does charging someone $60 instead of $20 help in the fight against car theft? Besides, why would a smart thief show his face and argue about a lost ticket? Many a time I have seen people raise the boom-gate and just drive off without paying. Do you think that someone who would steal a car from a car park, has any scruples about driving off without paying?

Some products just have an unfortunate name. Some people have an unfortunate name. I once met a man whose company was called Darshit. I now realise that it is a common name in certain countries. The company that makes hand dryers for washrooms might one day have to reconsider its name. Rentokil sounds like a division of a gangster organisation.

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