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Unusual But Correct

I was having dinner at an upscale downtown Los Angeles restaurant last night when my friend came out of the restroom and said, “There’s a sign in the bathroom I think you’re gonna want to see.”

I never saw it because he told me about it in his next breath: The restaurant requested that one not throw paper towels into the toilet and “thank you for your collaboration.”

The word collaboration struck him as funny. He pointed out, correctly, that a sign would normally use the words consideration or cooperation.

I responded by telling him that if I remembered the definition of collaboration, the sign was correct.

The definition of the root collaborate, which I looked up the next day: “to work jointly with others or together.” The restaurant wanted everyone to avoid throwing paper towels in the toilet. That works.

Now, some might say that the definition means that these collaborators have to work together at the same time; therefore, everybody has stand in the bathroom and not throw paper towels into the toilets.

I understand the implication, but I disagree. Collaboration can span time periods.

Besides, do you really want that many people standing over a toilet at the same time?

Until next time! Use the right words!


January 7, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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