Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Funny joke

Ever since I have realised Australia has, adjusting for wages, about the cheapest petrol in the world and that such a situation is ecologically absurd given the impact of each litre of petrol is unusually large in Australia, I have always said things like:

- "petrol is never too expensive"
-- one of my most vivid memories of Melbourne University is when an ice cream salesman to whom I said this replied by saying I was "a spy for the oil companies"! When I denied this, he said "a spy for the greenies", which my parents found absurd. (With hindsight, it is because greenies are concentrated right inside Melbourne University).
--- the man, who was quite rude in speech, then said "I had shares" (in the oil companies, of course)!
--- When I denied that, he said "I had shares in Mobil" and that I was "hanging around BP"!

- "petrol is never expensive, only less cheap"
-- This is a more recent one, and was based on someone saying "petrol is never cheap, only less expensive". I find my idea much closer to the truth, especially in Australia which should logically, on environmental grounds, have the least cheap petrol in the world.
-- my brother, after hearing "less cheap", said I should stop it.
--- I replied by checking to see if "less cheap" was grammatical. All forms of Microsoft Word said "less cheap" was OK.
--- However, "more expensive" is on Google about 25 times more common than "less cheap". In reality the difference is much greater because "less cheap" on Google also encompasses sentences like:

less. Cheap

The full stop cannot be searched in Google, which is odd since punctuation marks I often find like alphabetic letters in their function within written language.

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