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  1. #1
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    Default Are the two sentences contradictory?

    Hi,there!

    1.Several orders you placed with their company arrived late.2.As a result,you nearly lost a valued customer.

    The two consecutive sentences above are from my textbook.

    My understanding is:
    (1) means that 'you' order something from 'their company'(and the order was late),so 'you' are the 'customer'.
    (2) means that they are the 'valued customer'(you nearly lost).

    So,The two sentences seems contradictory.Am I right?

    could someone offer somehelp,please?
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by sws1234; 31-Mar-2009 at 15:42. Reason: to correct the mistake

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    I agree with you.

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    My reading would be that sentence one indicates that you are late in placing an important order. Sentence two indicates that as a result of the delay, your company is unable to complete an order from a customer who is now taking his business elsewhere.

  4. #4
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    I read/understand it differently. I see it as a discussion between two people: "A" and "B" regarding a company we'll call "C".

    "A" tells his friend "B" that two of the orders that "B" placed with company "C" were late, and therefore "B" nearly lost an important customer who is not mentioned.

    The sentences are not contradictory, but to me are advice.

    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    Searching for language: I get it!
    The 'company' is a red-herring in all this. 'B' was placing an outside order for goods requested by a valued customer, who was kept waiting because 'B' was late with getting the order in.

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    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    That's the way I see it. "A" is telling his friend "B" to be careful in dealing with "C" for they don't seem to be very reliable.

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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    Now you've lost me!

    It's not the company's (C) fault that B was late in placing the order. If this order was for some customer of B's, then any delay in obtaining the goods is attributable to B's tardiness in ordering, not the supplier C.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    I don't read it as saying that you placed your order late, but that they arrived at your own factory late.

    Let's say you make cakes that are sold in restaurants. You need... I don't know... specialty extracts from Company A. You order, but company A has unreliable shipping, and the order arrives late at your factory. You almost miss delivering your week's worth of cakes to your best customers.

    Now it's time to reorder. Your friend sees you have company A's catalog in your hand. "Hey, you order arrived late last time! Don't order from those guys! If they're late again, you may lose those customers for good this time!"

  9. #9
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    That's what I was trying to say. The order was late in arriving, not in ordering. I guess I didn't explain it properly. Sorry!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Are the two sentences contradictory?

    The ambiguity of the sentence comes from the dual meaning of the word "order."

    When I send in my request for products, that's an order. If it gets lost in the mail, it can be late in arriving at THEIR location.

    The stuff they send me that I've ordered is ALSO called my order. If they are slow in fulfilling the order or use really cheap shipping, it can be late in arriving at MY location.

    If you changed the original sentence to "shipment" then there is no ambiguity.

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