Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{December 17, 2008}   That Must Have Been Messy

From a news story on the CTV website:  Dozens rescued after B.C. gondola tower collapses

Emergency crews evacuated dozens of skiers and snowboarders who were left stranded aboard sagging gondola cars when a support tower collapsed Tuesday.


By 6:15 p.m., all of the passengers had been evacuated, CTV B.C. reported.

The skiers and snowboarders were evacuated?  Ewww!

“Evacuate” means to remove things from.  If you evacuate a town or a building, it means you remove all the people from said town or building.  If you evacuate a gondola car, you remove the skiers and snowboarders from the gondola car.

If you evacuate the skiers and snowboarders, however, it means you are taking their insides out.  Messy.

(Fortunately, no one was seriously injured [although this would undoubtedly have been really scary!], so I feel OK about picking on the incorrect word usage in this news story).

I was doing a little light reading about Bill C-51, “An Act respecting foods, therapeutic products and cosmetic” and noticed this in the FAQ from the Government of Canada’s “Healthy Canadians” website:

Mothers?  Really?  You couldn’t go with something more inclusive like “parents”?  Fathers raise kids too, you know, and sometimes, they give them vitamin C.

Also, DIN stands for “drug identification number“, so “DIN numbers” is redundant.

{July 9, 2008}   Socratic Irony

I was reading up on the dictionary definition of irony1 and came across this definition of the term “Socractic irony“:

Socratic irony
pretended ignorance in discussion.

I’ve never heard this term before. I’m familiar with the concept of dramatic irony, but Socratic irony is a new one for me. I think I would merely have referred to it as “feigned ignorance.”

You learn something new every day!

1What, doesn’t everyone read the dictionary for fun?a
aNote that this sentence is sarcastic, not ironic.

et cetera