Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pencil it in

Are pencils less expensive than biros, or pens as they’re called these days? I ask because when a personable young adult offered me a pamphlet as I detrained* the other morning, I took it. It turned out to be a Public Transport User Survey and the instructions entreated “Please place your completed survey form, and the pencil provided...” – and that’s when I started wondering, yet again, about the way we, here in Australia, are asked to express our opinion in pencil. But I hadn’t thought it had spread from general practice for elections to surveys in the real world. Why can’t we write in pen for things which are supposedly important? All I can think is that pencils are cheaper. Because surely no one world want to change the submitted forms. I wonder if they disallow submissions which are not made in pencil? Ah well ...only are way to find out!
*I always thought I used to “get off the train” but on one trip on Queensland Rail last week an announcement referred to passengers “detraining” – so that’s what I do now that I’m in Queensland!

1 comment:

Deb said...

Just as if we needed proof that our northern cousins were a little, say, behind the times. (Sorry Kaz, they just are) Along comes a term that is right out of a Sherlock Holmes novel.
Dont believe me? Look up
de-trained on Dictionary.com. Or better yet see below:

–verb (used without object)
1.to alight from a railway train; arrive by train.

1880–85; de- + train