In the pharmacy department of our local Boots there is always a printed notice telling us that "The reponsible pharmacist today is (name)". Which begs the obvious question: who is the irresponsible pharmacist today, and what is s/he doing? Is she partying in the back, high on morphine? Running giggling down the high street wearing her knickers on her head? Using the Boots telephone to chat to her relatives in Australia?
By moving one word - "responsible" - and placing it after "pharmacist" the meaning would be clear and unambiguous (but, let's face it, not nearly as entertaining).
PS Not worthy of a post on its own, but I've just read this lovely quotation:
"Culture is describing Jane Russell without using your hands".
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
The responsible pharmacist
Posted by Frances Garrood at 13:55
Labels: Boots, Jane Russell, pharmacist
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Great example of how to distort the meaning of a sentence - loved your imaginary scenarios!ReplyDelete
Oh no! I'm sure the pharmacist I use doesn't have one of those signs - will have to keep a close eye on the irresponsible staff and see what they get up to.ReplyDelete
A pharmacist running amok with knickers on her head... what an excellent image!ReplyDelete
Love the quote at the end. I'm going to make a note of that.ReplyDelete
I've always thought of culture as listening to The William Tell Overture without thinking of The Lone Ranger.
Hahaha! That gave me a good laugh! And, of course, is a succint example of the inmportance of clarity in writing! :)ReplyDelete
Judy (South Africa)
PS Lucas is very cute! (and I love his name!)
PPS Well done on the blog award!
I'm not sure whether it's apocryphal, but another such sign once spotted was: "We dispense with accuracy"...ReplyDelete
Thanks for all those replies. Keith - I love your definition! And your sign, Tim (which got me wondering: I hope our pharmacist is as accurate as she is resonsible. I think, given the choice, I'd go for accuracy).ReplyDelete
An irresponsible pharmacist might not bother to charge me for the drugs, so I might be okay with that...ReplyDelete
Ah - but he might have charged you double, Nevets.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the giggle, Frances! What a burden that sign places on the poor responsible pharmacist, holding the fort while all the irresponsible ones cavort away! xReplyDelete
Hi, Olivia. Yes - but you think someone would have pointed out the donwside of that sign by now!ReplyDelete