Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

Wash, Dry, and Put the Dishes Away

Posted by Neal on November 24, 2004

After I finished giving blood, I went to get one of the hot dogs they were serving. I could see a sign in the church kitchen that read:

After using dishes, please wash, dry, and put them away in the proper place. Thank you!

Taken as a strictly parallel coordination, then this sign is instructing the kitchen users to:

  1. Wash themselves
  2. Dry off
  3. Put away the dishes they used

Or, it could be instructing them to:

  1. Wash away the dishes they used
  2. Dry away the dishes they used (after somehow getting them back after washing them away)
  3. Put away the dishes they used (after somehow getting them back after drying them away)

But if, as I am pretty sure, the intended message is for people to wash the dishes, dry the dishes, and put the dishes away, then we have here a fourth attestation of a “Friends in Low Places (FLoP)Coordination.

6 Responses to “Wash, Dry, and Put the Dishes Away”

  1. Anonymous said

    WTF? A sign informs you that some random guy washed the plate you’re about to use, and you blog about the sign’s wording? You’re sick.

    (Seriously, you have hepatitis now.)

  2. Anonymous said

    Buddy, if this is the sort of thing you think is “sick,” then you have led a mighty sheltered life up until now. Bsides that, if you dislike linguistic trivia, you are on the wrong damn blog.

  3. Anonymous said

    I commend you for giving blood! I used to hate linguistics until I found your blog. Now I’m loving it! (I’m sure McDonalds has copyrighted that expression.) All of our lives are mundane and routine to some degree but you’ve take monotony to new heights! (That’s a joke.) I’m LOVING the free linguistic lessons and it help tremendously when studing a foreign language to start to understand your own more deeply. Anyone who flippantly critizes you for your wonderful posts is someone who is quite jaded about life, like I was until you turned me around. Thanks!!!

  4. I recently heard a TV character remark “When I grow up, I’m having my dishes paid to be done.” Somehow, that wording evokes an image of someone paying animated dishes to wash and dry themselves…

  5. […] by Neal on October 2, 2008 On Monday I went to give blood. On several occasions, I’ve noticed linguistically interesting phrases while I was participating in a […]

  6. […] Use it, wash it, put it away […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: