Tag Archives: Language

Tesco Language

Tesco is to change the wording of signs on its fast-track checkouts to avoid any linguistic dispute.

The supermarket giant is to replace its current “10 items or less” notices with signs saying “Up to 10 items”.

Tesco’s move follows uncertainty over whether the current notices should use “fewer” instead of “less”.


Whilst ’10 items or fewer’ is more linguistically correct than ’10 items or less’, ‘up to 10 items’ does not just ‘clarify’ the meaning (who was unclear?) it actually changes the meaning.

’10 items or fewer/less’ implies the number of items can be 10. ‘Up to 10 items’ implies that anything from 1 to 9 is okay, but 10 is too many.

With the change, it’s possible that jobsworths on the till might have a resurgence. I hope not! I haven’t had one of those in some time.

All this is just fussing round the edges – appealing to the grammar pedants. I’d much prefer it if Tesco could sort out its pricing policy, that’d be a useful change.

Cert French (Open)

My first Open University certificate came through today. I’m now entitled to use the letters Cert French (Open) after my name.

I won’t be doing this, I don’t even use my degree letters as a rule (BSc. Hons, I believe, though there may be some detail difference).

To start using Cert French (Open) would be equivalent to writing my GCSE/O Level/A Level qualifications!

Still, it’s nice to have the bit of paper. The next one, assuming that I finish the course, will be Cert Hum (Open).

No, I won’t be using it, it may get silly.

Article by Murk, BSc (Hons); Cert French (Open); PGCE; A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Computer Science, Physics; City of Guilds Amateur Radio Examination; RoSPA minibus training, GCSEs in English (Lang and Lit), Maths, Technical Drawing, Electronics, French, Geography, Chemistry and Physics; Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, 6th Kyu Ni Judo (from 1981!), yellow belt judo (similar vintage), cycling proficiency, 50m swimming; Milk Monitor.

Non à 2008!

According to the BBC News website, protestors in Nantes spent december 31st protesting against 2007. "Now is better".

They "called on governments and the UN to stop time’s “mad race” and declare a moratorium on the future"

The tension mounted as the minutes ticked away towards midnight – but the arrival of 2007 did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm.

The protesters began to chant: "No to 2008!"

They vowed to stage a similar protest on 31 December 2007 on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris.

Further details (in English) and in French (1) (2)

LZX120 Result

I have the result for my French Open University course.

My Result for LZX120

It’s okay, but it could have been better. I got good marks for completion of task, but was let down on accuracy and range of language… which to me is the main point.

On the ECA, the completion got B in the written and A for spoken. The accuracy and range got C in each. The overall average was in the 70-84% range (77%) which is a B. The average for both the ECA and the coursework was a little lower (somewhere from 70-77% depending on the weighting). This is a B grade, which I suppose on any objective scale isn’t bad, especially as my brain fundamentally doesn’t work easily in these areas.

Having said that, I’m quite ambivalent about the result. It’s not great, but it’s acceptable. I’d have been disappointed with sub 70%., but can’t be happy unless I’m in the top grades. It’s average – and I’m not happy with that (though, as I say, I’m not unhappy). To learn a language properly, immersion over an extended period is really the best option, unfortunately it’s one that was unavailable to me.