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Thursday, September 28, 2006

A small misunderstanding

As my regular readers will be aware, we’re trying to find a tenant to stay in our garden cottage.

Now, it’s a small garden cottage. It’s not very big. It’s quite small actually. So, armed with that knowledge, when typing up the ad we placed online, I gave it the title “Small Garden Cottage”. I named it that because, as I mentioned before, the cottage is small, and not very big at all.

We’ve had quite an overwhelming response to the ad. Most of the respondents were not suitable, but there were a few that have been. A number of them have even come by to look at the small cottage.

None of them have taken it yet. Of those that bothered to give me feedback after coming to see it cited, as their reason for not taking it, that it was too small.

Now, of course, the cottage is rather small. It’s not big at all. It’s so undeniably small that I placed the word “small” unambiguously in the ad. It really is rather small, you see, which is why I included the word “small”.

So what exactly did they think we meant by that? Did they think we were kidding about it being small? Did they think it was actually quite big, and we put the word “small” in the ad just for a laugh? Or did they think we were being modest in using the word “small” when the cottage was modest-sized, tending towards big?

Just to recap: The cottage is small. It’s not very big. It’s quite small. It’s not on the small side of big, or even on the big side of small, it’s just small. That’s why I said it was small: because it’s small. Not big. Small.

I didn’t think it was rocket-science to deduce from the fact that the word “small” appears in the ad, that the cottage is small. Apparently I was mistaken.