"I have recently discovered a switch just behind the steering wheel in my car which, when I turn it one way, automatically applies some soapy water on to the front windscreen of my car," writes Rob Cooper of Papakura. "Then, when I turn the switch the other way, two wiper blades wipe the windscreen completely clean. You don't have to wait until you are stationary at the traffic lights either. And best of all it doesn't cost anything except the occasional top up of water somewhere under the bonnet. My wife tells me that in her car, she has the same arrangement on the rear window AS WELL! Wow, you don't get that at the traffic lights. So come on all you busy Auckland drivers, check out your car and see if it has one of these nifty gadgets installed. It could save a lot of hassle and remember, it's FREE."
Yep, it's a sick new world
Max Walker was perplexed by a Burger Fuel promotion offering the chance to "win a makeover for your motor-baby, including a sick new paint job, wheels and rims and a sweet new stereo system". "Perhaps the painter will have consumed far too many burgers," he writes. "They surely mean it to be a slick paint job!" Afraid not Max. "Sick" is youth lingo for great. It's a form of reverse psychology, in which words with a conventionally negative meaning take on positive connotations. For example, a cool motorcycle, a nasty curveball, a rad(ical) dress, a wicked dance move, a gnarly book, a sick jump, a bad pizza. It might have started as skateboarding slang used to express "shock and awe" after seeing something "impressive" like crashes. (Source: English.stackexchange.com)
In Israel Heinz ketchup must now be called "tomato seasoning" because it doesn't have enough tomato in it to be called a ketchup product. Local rival Osem complained and the Health Ministry agreed that since Heinz does not contain at least 10 per cent tomato solids, it can't legally be called ketchup. In retaliation Heinz's local importer, Diplomat, is working with the ministry to change the definition of ketchup from containing 10 per cent to 6 per cent tomato solids, which would allow Heinz to be within the parameters. Or they could've just put more tomato in their sauce. That would've worked too.
Penultimate is right
In reply to the August 25 item in Sideswipe titled "not more ultimate": Penultimate, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, does indeed mean "last but one", and not second to last. But this definition can be ambiguous. Substitute "last" with "final" and the true meaning of penultimate can be more easily and accurately understood. Thus the wording of the advertisement referred to is indeed correct. End of lesson!
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Picture this: Europa or frying pan? One of these images is Jupiter's moon Europa, the rest are frying pans. Can you pick which is the moon.
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