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Monday, September 01, 2008


Thank God/Allah/Buddha/The Flying Spaghetti Monster for The Plain English Campaign.
I really don't know where we'd be without them. Their tireless work has not gone unnoticed in Casa Inchy and both myself and The Demon both feel grateful that they have managed, through hard work and determination, to get Tesco to change the wording on their express checkout tills from:

"10 items or less"
"Up to 10 items"

Well I'm glad that particular dog's dinner of confusion has finally been cleared up.
Here's what The Plain English Campaign had to say:

"Saying up to 10 items is easy to understand and avoids any debate, "Fewer" should be used when you are talking about items that can be counted individually, for example, "fewer than 10 apples" and "Less" is correct when quantities cannot be individually counted in that case, e.g. "I would like less water".

Have these people really got nothing better to do than wander around pointing out grammar, syntax and compositional errors in shop signs? Can you imaging living with someone like that? When did you last 'debate' whether you had more than 10 items in your basket?

"Does a pack of Yakult count as one item, or is it 6 separate ones?!"



Steve said...

"Does a pack of Yakult count as one item, or is it 6 separate ones?!" - As you've pointed out the confusion still remains. They're "improved" sign has solved nothing. What we need is an even bigger sign explaining what it meant by an individual item. Or even better. Checkouts girls who can just checkout your goods faster no matter how many you have.

Anonymous said...

Yes you do wonder what the world is coming too when there are people who spend nights tossing and turning because the words could be misinterpreted. You'd have to be a bit of a moron to misinterpret those words - but still - there is always the chance someone will and that is enough to warrant thousands of dollars to change it around.

Ro said...

And now the really important question - far more important than what Gordon and Alastair will do about the faltering economy or whether McCain has really made a major boo-boo - is this: does "up to 10 items" mean "up to and including 10 items" or "no more than 9 items"?

I'm a bit of a pedant when it comes to grammar and syntax but even I would say that some things just aren't worth making a fuss over. Life is simply too short.

Bulldog said...

You keep using plurals when you're refering to one plain english campaign. rediculous!