Thursday, April 12, 2012


Here we have a few oddities that have caught my eye in the past few weeks.

First up, I was stopped in traffic the other day when I noticed the bumper of the car ahead of me:

Not sure how visible it is in the photo (shot through my filthy windshield), but if you look closely you will note that, yes, those are staples holding the car’s bumper together. Rusting staples, alas, but still a notch or two above the old standby, duct tape.

Regular readers of these posts will know that I will occasionally subject myself to an online survey, usually to amass points that I can spend on junk I don’t need. Also they can be kind of fun and, once in a great while, even interesting. Here’s a screenshot from a survey I took a little while back:

Not sure what to make of it. A bit of whimsy on the part of the survey designers? Or did the survey designers think the question was such that people would benefit from visual aids?

The other day I took a survey about vodka—something I seldom drink, so the survey went pretty quickly. It turned out to be one of those aforementioned rarities, a survey that is in fact interesting and from which I learned a few things:
    1. People who drink vodka must not like the taste of vodka, since there seems to be an enormous number of flavored vodkas; 
    2. People who wrote the survey either don’t know or care about past participles or, like a great many people, are afraid of the word “drunk”: A careful editor would have changed the category titles to “I have drunk it ...” Unless they have drank too much.

 From the same survey:

I have spent some little time trying to figure out what the survey designers thought was the difference between the two indicated questions. Granted, some editors would frown on the use of “I’d” as a contraction of “I would” (it’s not wrong, but I’ve worked with editors who eschew it since “I’d” also stands in for “I had”)...but somehow I doubt that there was a heated editorial meeting in which half of the staff argued for “I would” and half argued for “I’d” and in the end they decided to split the difference and use both, just so they could move on to the next item on the agenda

Which obviously was not the drank/drunk discussion.