01 November 2013

Words mean things, classified ads edition

In previous posts, I have talked about the idea that words have certain meanings, and the words you choose carry those meanings with it. With that in mind consider a recent classified advertisement that reads as follows:
Free firewood
Freshly cut oak trees need to be cut and split...
Firewood is defined variously as "wood suitable for fuel," or "wood used to make a fire : wood used as fuel." In a sentence: "They collected and cut their own firewood." "They chopped enough firewood to last the winter."

Generally, and it has been my experience, that when people are advertising firewood for sale (or for free), it means that the wood has already been cut and split, and often separated into cords or other bundles. An image search for "firewood" on Google bears this out.

To be fair, the ad does say the trees "need to be cut and split." But they're also "freshly cut," meaning they're not really going to be ready for firewood until they dry out.

Ok, I was bored...
Post a Comment