Friends of Semantic Compositions

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« Gee, thanks! | Main | Liberman's a crazy mad linguist »

April 26, 2004



Great examples of how pre-programmed most social exchanges are. I thought I'd add one:

My SO and I regularly buy gallons of milk at the grocery store. Said gallons come in plastic containers with easy-to-use handles conveniently built in. However, baggers at the supermarket seem to love to put individual gallons into individual plastic bags, which both wastes a bag and is far less convenient to carry. Whenever we buy milk the same scenario plays out:

Bagger: Plastic ok?
Radagast: Yes, but don't bag the milk.
Bagger: [Starts putting things into bags.]
Radagast: [Waits for the inevitable]
Bagger: [Starts bagging milk]
Radagast: I said please don't bag the milk.
Bagger: What?

Sadly, this usually ends either with the bagger removing the milk from the bag and throwing away the bag, or just putting the bagged milk in the cart.

The only way my SO and I have found to stop this cycle is to grab the milk immediately after it's scanned and put it into the cart ourselves.


At most stores I've been to, they don't even ask "paper or plastic?" They just start putting stuff into plastic bags unless you stop them. I've never heard any cashier say "plastic ok?" Maybe it's a geographical thing.


Here in Korea when you buy anything, no matter how small you get a plastic bag. Seriously, if it is hot outside and blinger is sweating up a storm goes into a store to buy a canned coke and a novelty ice cream it comes in a bag.

when I say no bag, the shopkeeper has a perplexed look on their face.

p.s. I thought this post was going to have something to do with Luke Skywalker.

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