Thursday, 16 March 2006

Lynne Truss has a lot to answer for. For which to answer, I mean.

In one of the lifts at Chalk Farm tube station, a scholarly debate is raging. Someone has amended one of those Microsoft adverts with the dinosaur headed office workers- the one featured a triceratops trying to get on with his photocopying, with the slogan 'This data is multiplying like rabbits.' The offended grammarian has crossed out 'This' and 'is', and replaced them with 'These' and 'are'. Fine. But, gloriously, someone else has crossed out the correction, replaced the original words, and added 'Stet. Data is an uncountable noun'. I just love the 'stet'. What, in case someone tries to print the lift?

(Of course, if it is an uncountable noun, you've got to worry about whether it can be compared to rabbits, plural. Perhaps the slogan should more properly be: 'This data is multiplying like the rabbit'. Or, for complete clarity: 'This data is multiplying at the speed colloquially associated with the species Oryctolagus Cuniculus.' But let's give the guy a break, shall we? After all, he has a lot of photocopying to do. And he has the head of a triceratops.)


Martin J Davies said...

This data is multiplying like the rabbit

Sounds like a piece of enigmatically translated Japanese. And by that I mean: Ace!

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Anonymous said...

*A* rabbit does not multiply. Unless you clone it, artificially.

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