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The News Room Blog

December 16, 2009

The self-checkout machine seems somehow inhuman.

The other day, I found myself buying some sauerkraut and Christmas cookies (Happy holidays from the Scaianalysis editorial board!) at the Kroger by my house. Usually, I go to the Wal-Mart by Cowboys Stadium, but I wanted to get in and out more quickly.

I mention this because something peculiar happened after I finished at the self-checkout machine.

"Thank you for shopping with us!" the machine exclaimed.

You might be thinking this is a perfectly reasonable valediction. But, readers, the print can only tell a fraction of the story (Also, remember that the next time you seek out your journalism from a medium other than radio).

You see, the voice said, "Thank you for shopping with us!" She emphasized the word "us." Wouldn't it be more conversational to hit the word "shopping?" As in "Thank you for shopping with us!"

I can see an argument for emphasizing "us." Obviously, if you're inside a Kroger, you'll be shopping. The woman inside the checkout computer is saying she appreciates you choosing Kroger for your shopping needs. Nevertheless, placing the emphasis on the last word seems syntactically incorrect.

I can't be the only who's noticed this!

See what I did there?! "Can't" should have been the word in italics! You saw... you saw.


Alan Scaia


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posted by The News Room on 12/16/2009 8:55:12 AM