It may come as a surprise to you that the happy-go-lucky person you know as Asof has some pet peeves. But I do. I think I have a fine breeding colony, which include “People who talk about themselves in the third person” and “Hypocrites”, as it happens, but let us pass over those for the moment.
I went to see my GP the other day – it’s flu season and the University has been invaded by thousands of potentially plague-carrying freshers. My GP – like most GPs I know – likes his gadgets and his information technology. The surgery recently acquired a new logging system. In the dark old days, when I got there I’d go to reception and tell the receptionist I’d arrived (in case she hadn’t noticed me loitering in front of her desk) and she’d tell me where to wait. But that was Ye Olden Tymes, back in the Second Millennium.
Now there is the Screen On The Wall.
Just opposite the door, on the wall is, as I suspect you may have guessed, a touch-sensitive display screen. It asks for your gender, and then your date of birth. From this, it works out who you are, and who you’ve come to see then asks you to confirm that it has got it right. It comes across as faintly needy, a bit like a very poor conjurer “Is this your card?” but I can cope with that.
It’s the bit which come next which causes my hackles to rise.
It displays a button. And invites me to press it. On the button it says…
No. No! No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
“To arrive” is an intransitive verb, like “to die” or “to sleep”. It doesn’t take a subject. Tonight, I will sleep. One day, I shall die. Perhaps I may even arrive at the pearly gates, but you cannot sleep me, you cannot die me and you certainly cannot arrive me.
“Nice to see you again, Asof – in for your flu jab?”
“That would be nice – and could you check my blood pressure too?”
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