One day when I was teaching ninth-grade English, a student approached me during a test. “When it says ‘answer the question’ should I answer the question?” I mention this incident, which sits in my memory bank right next to the time a senior wanted to know whether the government had a “suppository of documents” nearby, because I ask some pretty dumb questions, too. Such as . . .
Doesn’t number two on this list — “imported & domestic items” — include everything ? If so, why not just say “everything”? And does the customer have to choose: “I want domestic items only, please” or “If it’s not from here, I’m buying it”?
More dumb questions:
Does “your portrait painting here” mean that you and Abe are in it together? Does he stay the same size while you’re squeezed into the upper left corner? Why write “portrait” and “painting”? Isn’t that overkill, like the “oral mouth care” ad I heard on the radio recently?
Dumb Question #3:
Is the price “around 50 cent”? Why not give an exact price? And why not “cents”? Is a rapper in the vicinity? I won’t ask who’d buy wings “all day and night” because this is the city that never sleeps, and that sort of schedule leads to interesting dietary habits and, possibly, the omission of crucial punctuation.
Do you call the front desk for “boom service,” and if so, how much do you tip the guy who lowers the boom? How do you delivery a “jobsite”? And what does a “boom service” showroom show?
Inquiring minds want to know.