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As opposed to the other sort?


I worry about words and how people use them and over the last few days I seem to be seeing examples of wording which have made me think "as opposed to the other sort?".

It all started when I saw this van on Orkney while waiting for the ferry back to the mainland (apologies for the slightly blotchy photo: it was taken through the window of the ferry terminal departure lounge):

Mobile Response Vehicle

And I looked at it and wondered, so that would be opposed to the other sort then?

But this wasn't the only odd bit of signage on this theme that I saw. Less than twenty four hours later, having taken the train from Thurso to London via Inverness and the sleeper, I found myself at Kings Cross station and there at the entrance was another one.

"Accessible toilet" the arrow said and yet again I found myself muttering "as opposed to the other sort?". Sadly I didn't have my camera to hand and my phone battery was nearly flat so no photo of that one.

But to round it off we went to Morrisons today to do our shopping and picked up some fruited teacakes made by Stephenson's bakery. These are described on the packaging as:

Delicious fruited teacakes baked in our own bakery

Now perhaps it's just me but at the very least surely the "own" there is superfluous but in reality isn't this another case of "as opposed to the other sort?". They're a bakery, of course they bake their own. So all they needed to say was:

Delicious fruited teacakes

Anyway enough already.

Oh, and for the record having now tried them both Beth and I think "Delicious" is debatable, but at 50p for six I suppose we only have ourselves to blame.

Tags: trains, words Written 09/09/10

Previous comments about this article:

On 09/09/10 at 9:56pm Graham Denison wrote:

Apparently, this is known as Pleonasm, using superfluous words in descriptions, as opposed to Tautology, reusing the same word repeatably in a sentence.

On 09/09/10 at 10:12pm Paul wrote:

Oooh, that'll be my "word of the day" then. Thanks for that.

On 10/09/10 at 12:17am Derek Law wrote:

In the same mould, I'm always bemused by the advertising expression "our best ever" xxx. Was the previous version not the best? Did they not try until now? As opposed to the other sort?

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