[this is not a sentence]

Correcting the world, one sentence at a time.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

[but they do wear cute uniformlies]

SENTENCE: First-Class Mail Package rates apply to Large Envelopes that are rigid, nonrectangular, or not uniformly.

WHERE: United States Postal Service Postage Rate Calculator online.

CORRECTION: First-Class Mail Ppackage rates apply to Llarge Eenvelopes that are rigid, nonrectangular, or not uniformly shaped(?).

GRAMMAR: The United States Postal Service has long had a reputation as a refuge for the incompetent, sociopathic and psychotic, and the sentence above does nothing to change that image.

Let's start with the capitalization, which I can at least wrap my head around. I will give the Postal Service the right to declare First-Class Mail a proper noun — one could consider it something like a product name — but Large Envelope? I'm sorry, Postal Service, but you just don't get to own that phrase. Not in my world. And you guys agree with me (on a page that explains that large envelopes "exceed any one of the maximum dimensions of a letter," but fails to mention what those dimensions might be). And I don't see any reason to capitalize package either.

So that's the capitalization. As for ending a sentence with uniformly, well, I'm assuming something important got cut off. Either that, or they apply special rates to packages that do not have uniformle characteristics. As for what's been cut off, it's hard to guess. Like so much else about the Postal Service, this message remains cryptic, leaving just enough doubt in the mind of the customer that she is left wondering whether it's somehow her own fault when her mail goes undelivered.

I love it: plausible deniability from the Postal Service!


Blogger amf0001 said...

I really like your blog and I linked to it in mine.

June 16, 2007 at 8:43 PM  

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