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Ambiguous rail security slogan
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Paul
2017-11-23 22:19:31 UTC
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The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
However, the two messages are significantly different.
A google search shows that many people are confused with the
wrong version "See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.

I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it" themselves
if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or restrict themselves
to just seeing and saying if a more passive bystander.

Any thoughts?

I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing oversight
for such a high-profile campaign.
David Kleinecke
2017-11-23 23:10:36 UTC
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Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
However, the two messages are significantly different.
A google search shows that many people are confused with the
wrong version "See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it" themselves
if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or restrict themselves
to just seeing and saying if a more passive bystander.
Any thoughts?
I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing oversight
for such a high-profile campaign.
I have no idea what either version of that slogan means - even
in the context of terrorism.
Mark Brader
2017-11-23 23:36:29 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it,
sort it." However, the two messages are significantly different...
I have no idea what either version of that slogan means - even
in the context of terrorism.
"If you see something suspicious, report what you saw, and..."
The original version says you can then assume it will be appropriately
dealt with (Rightpondian: "sorted"), but the misheard version suggests
that after reporting it you should deal with it yourself.

Compare the wording which I believe originated in New York and is now
also seen here: "If you see something, say something."
--
Mark Brader | "Modern security actually worked most of the time.
Toronto | There hadn't been a city lost in more than five years."
***@vex.net | --Vernor Vinge, "Rainbows End"

My text in this article is in the public domain.
s***@my-deja.com
2017-11-23 23:38:17 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
However, the two messages are significantly different.
A google search shows that many people are confused with the
wrong version "See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it" themselves
if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or restrict themselves
to just seeing and saying if a more passive bystander.
Any thoughts?
I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing oversight
for such a high-profile campaign.
I have no idea what either version of that slogan means - even
in the context of terrorism.
1. Tell us and we will deal with it
2. Deal with it yourself
Richard Heathfield
2017-11-23 23:48:52 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
However, the two messages are significantly different.
A google search shows that many people are confused with the
wrong version "See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it" themselves
if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or restrict themselves
to just seeing and saying if a more passive bystander.
Any thoughts?
I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing oversight
for such a high-profile campaign.
I have no idea what either version of that slogan means - even
in the context of terrorism.
I'm afraid I am very cynical about such things, and I have a terrible
suspicion that the marketing people don't know either. I am guessing
that it all started during a long lunch at the pub when one of them said
"what we need is something short and catchy, like that Roman feller, you
know, vainy veedy vichy or whatever it was", and they spent the next six
pints and a whisky chaser punting ideas around until someone came up
with "see it say it s... s... we need another s. Jerome! Can /you/ think
of a one-syllable word being with S?" Slight pause. "Scotch?"
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-11-24 15:53:22 UTC
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Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
However, the two messages are significantly different.
A google search shows that many people are confused with the
wrong version "See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it" themselves
if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or restrict themselves
to just seeing and saying if a more passive bystander.
Any thoughts?
I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing oversight
for such a high-profile campaign.
I have no idea what either version of that slogan means - even
in the context of terrorism.
Incomprensible in British English (mine, at least) as well.
--
athel
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-11-24 17:55:04 UTC
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On Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:53:22 +0100, Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
However, the two messages are significantly different.
A google search shows that many people are confused with the
wrong version "See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it" themselves
if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or restrict themselves
to just seeing and saying if a more passive bystander.
Any thoughts?
I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing oversight
for such a high-profile campaign.
I have no idea what either version of that slogan means - even
in the context of terrorism.
Incomprensible in British English (mine, at least) as well.
I think that
"See it, say it, sorted"
means
1. If you see something unusual
2. Report it
then
3. Job done / Situation dealt with.

OED on "sorted" [lightly edited]:

Draft additions May 2001

a. Chiefly Brit. slang. Of a state of affairs, etc.: fixed, settled,
secure; arranged, prepared, dealt with.
Chiefly used predicatively and (esp. in earlier use) frequently
indistinguishable from the past participle of the passive verb
(cf. sort v.1 16a(e)). Also as int., esp. used to express assent
to a proposal, readiness to act, or to mark the satisfactory
conclusion of a transaction.

In quot. 1982 probably more closely related to sort v.1 11f.

1982 Washington Post (Nexis) 7 Sept. d2 But with insurance money
and investments, I'm set financially and my life is pretty well
sorted.
1986 T. Barling Smoke ix. 178 ‘And your social commitments in
the stand.’ ‘They're well sorted.’
1995 Independent (Nexis) 29 July 8 They could be sensible with
their life, financially sorted at 25, for example.
1997 C. Higson et al. Fast Show: Ser. 3 (BBC TV script for
Darlington filming, 27 July–10 Aug.) 130 Simon: Right? Lyndsay:
Nice one! Simon: It's gripped. Lyndsay: Sorted!
1998 J. Baker in S. Champion & D. Scannell Shenanigans (1999) iv.
70 It's sorted. You can go in.
1999 R. T. Davies Queer as Folk: Scripts 46 On the house!
Sorted!
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
s***@gowanhill.com
2017-11-24 21:46:19 UTC
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Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Incomprensible in British English (mine, at least) as well.
In Welsh it's "Wedi sylwi. Wedi son. Wedi setlo." (has noticed, has spoken, has settled).

http://www.btp.police.uk/latest_news/see_it_say_it_sorted_new_natio.aspx
http://www.btp.police.uk/btp_wales_home/cyngor_a_gwybodaeth/wedi_sylwi_wedi_son_wedi_set.aspx


The announcements are available on Youtube in the various station announcer voices.

Owain
Peter T. Daniels
2017-11-24 05:07:01 UTC
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Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
However, the two messages are significantly different.
A google search shows that many people are confused with the
wrong version "See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it" themselves
if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or restrict themselves
to just seeing and saying if a more passive bystander.
Any thoughts?
I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing oversight
for such a high-profile campaign.
AmE is "If you see something, say something."
Janet
2017-11-24 13:15:50 UTC
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Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
Not in my Br E, which has not eliminated the letter T.

Janet
Paul
2017-11-24 20:24:08 UTC
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Post by Janet
Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
Not in my Br E, which has not eliminated the letter T.
I use the letter T too. But you're not taking account of the way
in which we hear speech. The human brain takes into account
context and the anticipated conclusion, as well as the actual sounds.

For example, if someone said "Than you" in a context where "Thank you"
was expected, you wouldn't notice the anomaly and would hear "Thank you."
In the current context, the pattern is "... it ... it" So we expect
a conclusion which also ends in "it". I think most people would
therefore hear "Sort it". We revise our interpretation of the sounds
we hear in light of context and the surrounding patterns.
I'm a bit surprised you don't know all this?

Paul
GordonD
2017-11-25 11:36:26 UTC
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In article
Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat
terrorism, is "See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like
"See it, say it, sort it."
Not in my Br E, which has not eliminated the letter T.
I use the letter T too. But you're not taking account of the way in
which we hear speech. The human brain takes into account context and
the anticipated conclusion, as well as the actual sounds.
For example, if someone said "Than you" in a context where "Thank
you" was expected, you wouldn't notice the anomaly and would hear
"Thank you."
Many years ago a work colleague who had been a telephone operator told
me that they were supposed to answer calls with the query "Number,
please?" Occasionally, especially towards the end of a shift, they would
say "Rubber knees?" Nobody ever commented on it.
--
Gordon Davie
Edinburgh, Scotland
GordonD
2017-11-25 11:40:18 UTC
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On the topic of ill-thought-out slogans, KFC have recently begun using
"The Chicken. The Whole Chicken. Nothing But the Chicken." - based of
course on the oath one swears in court.

But doesn't the middle part imply that they use stuff like claws, beaks
and eyeballs, which they have always denied? (In case any lawyers are
reading, I'm sure they don't...)
--
Gordon Davie
Edinburgh, Scotland
Peter T. Daniels
2017-11-25 13:35:02 UTC
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Post by GordonD
On the topic of ill-thought-out slogans, KFC have recently begun using
"The Chicken. The Whole Chicken. Nothing But the Chicken." - based of
course on the oath one swears in court.
Not Over Here. It's still "Finger-lickin'" -- shortened from "Finger-lickin'
good!" which goes all the way back to Col. Sanders himself's TV commercials.
Post by GordonD
But doesn't the middle part imply that they use stuff like claws, beaks
and eyeballs, which they have always denied? (In case any lawyers are
reading, I'm sure they don't...)
Maybe your truth-in-advertising laws are laxer than ours.

McD and BK recently started observing part 3 (in their "nuggets"). I tried the
new version once at each place, and they're unpleasantly bland. OTOH both offer
grilled rather than deep-fried for most of the chicken options, which is good,
but the grilled is more likely to slide out of the bun (because of slippery
condiments). Of the three varieties of salad-with-chicken-breast McD used to
offer, only the good one, Southwest, seems to have survived.
Peter Percival
2017-11-25 13:43:25 UTC
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Post by GordonD
On the topic of ill-thought-out slogans, KFC have recently begun using
"The Chicken. The Whole Chicken. Nothing But the Chicken." - based of
course on the oath one swears in court.
But doesn't the middle part imply that they use stuff like claws, beaks
and eyeballs, which they have always denied? (In case any lawyers are
reading, I'm sure they don't...)
And the third part is equally untrue, isn't it?
--
Do, as a concession to my poor wits, Lord Darlington, just explain
to me what you really mean.
I think I had better not, Duchess. Nowadays to be intelligible is
to be found out. -- Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2017-11-25 14:36:16 UTC
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Post by GordonD
On the topic of ill-thought-out slogans, KFC have recently begun using
"The Chicken. The Whole Chicken. Nothing But the Chicken." - based of
course on the oath one swears in court.
But doesn't the middle part imply that they use stuff like claws, beaks
and eyeballs,
Not to mention the digestive tract. But yes, of course it implies that.

(Physiologists among you will say that the contents of the digestive
tract are not part of the body, but in ordinary language it is.)
Post by GordonD
which they have always denied? (In case any lawyers are
reading, I'm sure they don't...)
--
athel
Peter Percival
2017-11-25 13:41:29 UTC
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Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism,
is "See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say
it, sort it."
"Exactly", babe?
Post by Paul
However, the two messages are significantly different. A google
search shows that many people are confused with the wrong version
"See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it"
themselves if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or
restrict themselves to just seeing and saying if a more passive
bystander.
Any thoughts?
I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing
oversight for such a high-profile campaign.
For me, neither "See it, say it, sorted." nor "See it, say it, sort it."
convey anything about terrorism and combating it. "Dial 999" would be a
useful message because, with the rising USA popularity of USA televisual
crime dramas, it seems many people in the UK don't know, or have
forgotten, what our emergency number is.
--
Do, as a concession to my poor wits, Lord Darlington, just explain
to me what you really mean.
I think I had better not, Duchess. Nowadays to be intelligible is
to be found out. -- Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
Peter Percival
2017-11-25 13:49:40 UTC
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would be a useful message because, with the rising USA popularity of
USA televisual crime dramas, it seems many people in the UK don't
Let's suppose that by "the rising USA popularity of USA" I meant "the
rising popularity of USA"! Or something.
--
Do, as a concession to my poor wits, Lord Darlington, just explain
to me what you really mean.
I think I had better not, Duchess. Nowadays to be intelligible is
to be found out. -- Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
Paul
2017-11-25 14:19:51 UTC
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Post by Peter Percival
Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism,
is "See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say
it, sort it."
"Exactly", babe?
Post by Paul
However, the two messages are significantly different. A google
search shows that many people are confused with the wrong version
"See it, say it, sort it." getting lots of references.
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional. Presumably people tend to
understand themselves reasonably well and a person can "sort it"
themselves if they feel confident and knowledgeable enough, or
restrict themselves to just seeing and saying if a more passive
bystander.
Any thoughts?
I actually suspect that they didn't spot that the message is totally
ambiguous when heard rather than read, which is an astonishing
oversight for such a high-profile campaign.
For me, neither "See it, say it, sorted." nor "See it, say it, sort it."
convey anything about terrorism and combating it. "Dial 999" would be a
useful message because, with the rising USA popularity of USA televisual
crime dramas, it seems many people in the UK don't know, or have
forgotten, what our emergency number is.
Dialling 911 in the UK works as an emergency number on mobile phones.
I don't like the "dial 999" message without more clarification.
Dialling 999 and contacting security staff have different thresholds.
If you see a normal-looking abandoned briefcase in the middle of a busy
terminal, contacting security is appropriate (and probably recommended)
but dialling 999 would be an overreaction.

Paul
Don P
2017-11-25 15:08:58 UTC
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Post by Paul
The current UK rail security slogan, intended to combat terrorism, is
"See it, say it, sorted." This sounds exactly like "See it, say it, sort it."
However, the two messages are significantly different.
. . .
I wonder if the ambiguity is intentional.
We know few public authorities admit they intend their slogans to be
ambiguous, but if truly interested the OP could inquire in Britain . . .

The practical point seems that the slogan presumes all Britons recognize
"sorted" as idiomatic for "job done." (I think this comes from police
jargon, made familiar in Britain through teleplays in 1970-90.) The OP
mentions correctly that non-Britons may well misunderstand the slogan if
they hear it but do not read it, but the UK rail security authority has
probably decided this occurs so seldom as to demand no remedy.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
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