austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

When she starts to shake her sarong

There's one of many small mysteries of life solved, thanks to this quarter's issue of the faculty housing newsletter. The elevators in my building, and on campus, used to have certificates guaranteeing their inspection posted beside the door, under the sticker saying what number to call for service 24 hours a day. But for a year now they haven't been there. It turns out that, ``Building and Construction Authority (BCA) will not be issuing lift maintenance certificates for display inside the lifts. However, specified tests and maintenance will still be carried out in all our lifts as required.'' Apparently whoever makes the newsletter was getting this question a lot, because the paragraph explaining it notes that this is ``from 1 April 2005.'' I'm just sorry I didn't ask the proper people earlier.

They're hiring new security guards, too, which is a bit of a surprise since I'd thought the service we had was perfectly fine. They ask our co-operation and understanding as ``the new guards will need sometime (sic) to familiarize themselves with the residents,'' which is true even if you suppose they meant the word like that. I don't know why they're changing agencies, since the faculty housing isn't really a high-security area, and if you come in through a taxi or a delivery truck, or in a bunch of faculty getting off one of the campus shuttles, you'll be waved through anyway. Come to it, that might be why there is a new agency coming in.

It's got me wondering just when the hyphen was dropped from cooperate, at least in United States English; the spell-checker in my office (set to British English) also flags coordinate, but I haven't seen that with a hyphen since I read some Scrooge McDuck comic books thirty years ago. (These comics also gave me the idea that Madagascar was important for its manufacture of papier mâchè and not much else. I can't figure why my brain locked on that, as opposed to many more true facts I've learned from other sources.) I also wonder why they explained that the Building and Construction Authority would be abbreviated as BCA when they didn't use BCA after that, but I'd rather have acronyms defined when they're not needed than the other way around.

Trivia: Edwin L Drake's oil well near Titusville, Pennsylvania, produced something like nine gallons per day when it was first tapped on 27 August 1859. Source: Life Science Library: Energy, Mitchell Wilson.

Currently Reading: Famous First Flights That Changed History, Lowell Thomas, Lowell Thomas Jr.

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