Friday, 23 November 2007

Continuations anyone?

I am always very reluctant to poke fun at French people trying to speak English. Given the litany of blunders that riddle my French, I am only too aware of how easily mistakes can be made in another language. In addition, it seems pretty unfair that the French should have to speak anything but their own language in their own country. On the other hand, given the numbers of monoglot Britons in France these days, they frequently don't have much choice.

Hence at our local recycling dump, if I can call it that, there is a notice in English. It reads:

Prohibited to deposit refuse (domestic, plants, materials ... ) under penalty of continuations.
The Municipality

I often wonder if I should point out to the 'municipality' that on the whole the notice might have been phrased better.

But it gives me so much innocent pleasure every time I read it, I don't think I could ever bring myself to.


Peter Horne said...

Unfortunately we are in no position to criticize.

On a visit to hospital today I noticed a sign which proclaimed,

"The hairdressing salon is open on Thursday's"

Thursday's what?, I wondered. What do Thursdays possess that other days do not?

Rather put me in mind of this, which I hope you find amusing,

Mark Wadsworth said...

Well, as you just ended a sentence with a preposition (or half a verb, according to taste) ...

The Creator said...

Ah, but you are allowed to. Or, at any rate, I am!

They key, clearly, is, is it clear, is it comprehensible?

I was always taught at school, several thousand years ago admittedly, that you should never start a sentence with 'and' or 'but'. Ditto, no split infinitives.

While I still shy away instinctively from the latter, the former has long seemed to me silly. SImilarly, the notion of not ending a sentence with a proposition strikes me as equally restrictive and unecessary.

Still, good to name there are at least a handful of people out there who care about grammar.