Monday, 12 February 2007

Ice, slice and Vanilla Ice.

And then of course there are ice cubes. Not that this is really any continuation of a theme or category, but I think that there is at least some sort of link between fridges and ice (though not ice and pickling).

Ice came about when there was too much cold and not enough water. The cold overwhelmed the water until it became solid and larger. This is known as ice. There is also dry ice, black ice and Vanilla Ice; and I intend to cover these in due course.

Ice (the ice we are discussing here, if you can call this a discussion), is categorised in to 4 main sizes: Ice caps, ice bergs, ice cubes and slush puppy. There are sub-categories, but I think I only have time to bore you with the general species for today. You will note that the first 2 have been invented by nature, where as the second 2 where invented by the Romans and Kellogg’s respectively.

I like ice cubes. It seems that though many shapes have been toyed with, such as the pub favourite "O" shape, and the rising starlet the "pillow", but the cube has weathered the competition and is still the most expected shape to be seen by anyone who has recently received a drink with some ice in it.

I would like to sidetrack at this point and announce a bugbear of mine. Its the term "ice and a slice". This is not acceptable, and certainly not acceptable in its question form ("ice and a slice?"). To begin the correct phrase would be "would you like some ice and a slice?", which is still rather abbreviated. The popular shortened term is technically asking for if you would like an ice and a slice. "An ice" is not a unit of measurement, and assumptions would lead a novice to believe that they will receive an ice cube in their drink, not the minor collapse of a multi-story igloo that is deemed acceptable in bars.

As I have stated at the beginning of this particular ramble, there are only 4 measurements of ice. "An ice" is not one of them. It would be like going to a restaurant and asking for "a beef" with a side of "a potato" and "a ketchup". Clearly this would lead to anything from ascended eyebrows, to outright mockery. And yet when the tables are turned, and it is the barman that is asking, it is deemed ok. And I haven't even mentioned the use of a adjective as a noun.

Yes I haven't forgotten. "A slice" is not technically a noun. You can just about get away with using it in the sentence "I can see a slice" but it leaves you listening for the following word. I can not believe that barmen across the country hate their customers enough to stop talking to them in full sentences. No where else in the economic, customer facing world has this level of apathy been employed. If a car mechanic asked you if you need "air and bares" instead of asking if they can check your tyres would lead to most of us staring rather blankly and waiting for an explanation. And no, rhyming is not an excuse for stupidity and laziness (take note Vanilla Ice).

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