I Suspect It’s Me


These roadworks were meant to be completed on a Saturday but as I drove past the sign on Friday it had changed and I just saw the above message. There was bad weather forecast for the Saturday – potentially thunderstorms – but as Saturday got closer the predictions turned to just rain and patchy rain at that. I do suspect that these works could have continued as the rain wasn’t that heavy on said Saturday.

My issue here is that the road sign is ambiguous and I can’t decide if it’s just me or whether the intended meaning is really clear. I know I definitely have a literal language problem and I don’t really like ambiguity in things where the final meaning is meant to be clear. Humans didn’t spend thousands of years developing complex language so that intended meaning could be vague.

Does this sign say that the roadworks are cancelled for 1 day or does it just state the fact that the bad weather will last for one day. I am currently unsure. I suspect it’s the former but it is very unclear. Cancelled is a strange word to use if the roadworks are moved by one day – postponed would be a better word there. A couple of commas wouldn’t go amiss either. So, until I attempt to drive this road a little later today I will not know the answer to my query. Oh, and fuck British Gas.

Not My Language

What’s wrong with the following picture?

Why Is It Like This
Language Choices

Yep, that’s right. I don’t speak American English. I speak English English. I mean, why even put a qualifier after the English language selection if there isn’t a choice. Why??


Obviously, I’m a bit of a stickler for language and how to interpret it. I like my spoken words to mean exactly what I intend (obviously, no mean feat given the English language). I will also compose emails and edit them over a few hours so they mean exactly what I want them to mean. This is probably why I, obviously, struggle with SMS (text messages to the masses) and occasionally Twitter.

I agree that we use some fillers in our language.

  • er
  • um
  • like
  • well
  • literally [people using this should be literally shot]
  • obviously

My pet hates are any of these mentioned but particularly:

It was, like, well hot.

WTF does this mean? It was like it was hot? It was hot? It was really hot? My usual response would be “So was it warm then, if it was like hot?”

Obviously, I’m going to play some tennis today.

Unless you know me really well, it probably wasn’t obvious to you. Me saying “obviously” belittles any comment that you think would be appropriate or any questioning of my statement. This annoys me. I am trying to only say “obviously” when I then wouldn’t need to end the statement because whatever followed you would automatically know/understand.

Maybe I’m too much of a stickler for literal interpretation of language. Which would be odd as I am happy to accept that language can evolve and things change over time, not always following survival of the fittest though. Language evolution seems to follow the stupid uses of language rather than the correct ones. We are doomed [not literally, except for APG].