Monthly Archives: December, 2022

Language… it matters

December 22nd, 2022 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Language… it matters”

A few years ago during another one of those Jozi heatwaves, my wife and I bought a Russell Hobbs floor fan. Nothing fancy, just the run-of-the-mill mobile fan to cool certain parts of the house while we were home.

Choosing a fan was pretty simple: We needed something simple-to-use, speedy, and of course as unobtrusive as possible. The last part meant it needed to be able to stay in a corner without really being seen, AND it needed to be quiet.

The box had a few key features displayed, like high speed; 3 speeds; vertically adjustable; and quite function. Yup, you read that right, ‘quite’ function.

Me being the optimist and uncharacteristically willing to let poor grammar slide, I placed this incorrect spelling to a lapse of design judgement and approvals, assumed it was supposed to be ‘quiet’ function, so we grabbed it, paid for it, and merrily made our way home.

At home, we gave it pride of place in the corner of our TV room, pointed directly at the couch we’d strategically placed for the best TV viewing pleasure, plugged it in, hit the level 3 of 3 speed, and were immediately transported into memories of flying in a two-seater twin-prop plane, because firstly, the wind it generated was terrific, but also, sadly, it sounded like you were sitting right in the cockpit.

Being a heatwave and all, we needed it immediately and bought it at a retail store instead of the usual online order and delivery. Had we been a bit more patient, though, and checked it out beforehand, we would have seen that even the first review of the device on Takealot says it’s noisy. Also, very clearly, there’s not ‘quite’ or ‘quiet’ function in the features list.

I’m still not sure what “quite function” means, to be honest, but it certainly doesn’t mean ‘quiet’. Language, my friends, matters.


Copyright Don Packett 1980-2020