161012 The ontological use of the word “premises”

By October 16, 2012Uncategorized, zBlog Archives

I’ve always had a bee in my bonnet about these “No Smoking ” signs (whatever happened to “Thank you for not smoking”?) and today’s pic exemplifies the bee.  This telephone box has now become a surrogate litter bin, half the glass is missing, the phone is broken and it smells (although this is not evident from the photograph).  But the biggest crime that has been committed here is that anyone should use the word “premises” to describe it.  According to the OED, premises are:  ‘the houses, lands, or tenements previously specified in a deed or conveyance …  A house or building with its grounds etc.  Also (a part of) a building housing a business etc.’   I know we have a housing crisis and the banana skin might be evidence of inhabitation, but there is no universe in which a telephone box can legitimately be described as a “premise”.  And don’t even get me started on the use of the preposition “in” instead of “on” …

Elsewhere, on a lighter note, I went to the opening of the London Independent Photographers exhibition (Strand Gallery, 32 John Adam Street, WC2N 6BP) .  Rather more visitors than space, but what I saw through the window looked jolly good and I intend to make a return visit when it is a tad quiter.

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