Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Visual Corridor?

I know I am now in what is politely called 'middle age' and I know that language is a living, breathing, changing thing but what ever happened to Plain English??

I was at our town library yesterday looking for some books to read. One I wanted, by English author Mark Billingham, was apparently 'on the shelf' according to the computer catalogue. I looked and looked but couldn't find it anywhere. Finally I asked the lovely Colm who was on the desk. Colm is married to a lady who teaches at the same school as me and he works part time at school and part time at the library (the students tell me he is the only one who knows anything at the town library, but that is another story).

Colm checked the staff computer and told me the book should be in the 'visual corridor'. The what? What the heck is a visual corridor?Now, Colm has a lovely Irish brogue so it did take me a few goes to understand the words he was saying, but even when I did understand that he was saying the words 'visual' and 'corridor' I was stumped. Okay, 'visual' is something you look at and 'corridor' is something you walk down. Hmmm, the only corridor in the town library is the one that goes to the toilets, and I'm sure he doesn't mean there! After giving it a few seconds of slow thought (well, it was at the end of the working day) I translated his words into 'display shelf'. When did a display shelf become a 'visual corridor'?

It turned out the book was not in the visual corridor but out the back, waiting to be shelved. Colm very kindly went and got it for me. After I got it home I realised I had already read it - b*****!

On a quilty note, I am in the middle of quilting this thing (which is destined to be a community quilt) It has been basted up ready for quilting for nearly 12 months - other quilts (or quilt, to be specific, have intervened):
Nice and easy meandering, no pressure, and I am NOT ripping out any stitches, even if they do go wonky.


Diana said...

Um, visual corridor instead of shelf? What? Is it a new library term?

The quilt looks really cheerful. Someone is going to love it.

ROZ said...

Visual corridor, I guess we learn something new every day. I love the quilt. It will keep someone toasty warm on a cold night

meggie said...

That's the spirit! Quilting should be relaxing & easy!Nice bright quilt, I am sure it will cheer someones life.
Language can be very humourous when taken literally in translations.
Our Czhech born cleaner once told us it was very hard to clean the 'mushrooms off the beer taps' at the hotel. She meant the fungus like growth from the yeast!