Student or Learner
In article of The Glorious Messiness of English by Robert MacNeil, three sentences are mentioned as poor examples of English expression. Could you point out the problem in each sentence and also provide a better way of expressing the same meaning?
1. sign in a Tokyo hotel: ‘You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.’
2. In a Pakistani hotel: ‘Please leave your values at the front desk.’
3. in a Zurich hotel: ‘Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedrooms, it is suggested that the lobby used for this purpose.’
Thank you very much
In my opinion, in the first one: take advantage of is improperly used
in the second one: values should be replaced by valuables, but is it OK to use the front dest instead of the reception?
in the third one, I just feel it's strange, and do not know the meaning quite clearly.
So how can I express these sentences in a proper way?
NOT A TEACHER
(1) Thank you for those sentences. They are really funny!
(2) It is super important that you understand why they are funny.
(3) As the moderator suggested, why don't you tell us what you think those
sentences mean. Then the excellent teachers will check your answers.
I am still laughing at those sentences. Everyone needs to laugh. It's good for
one's heath. Thanks a lot!
P.S. Those sentences prove that companies in non-English-speaking countries should hire
native speakers to check their English-language notices.
Not a teacher.
Although I’m almost cracking up with laughter at this wonderful sentence (but no, I’ll bite my tongue), may I point out that sentence 3 also contains a grammatical mistake?
Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedrooms, it is suggested that the lobby [be] used for this purpose.
(The verb was missing in your sample sentence. I think it should be “be”, i.e. the subjunctive mood, because of the verb “suggested”.)
Most people would read it as an (inintended) invitation to make use of the chambermaid unfairly, i.e, sexually. I wouldn't, of course.
Read it that way, I mean.
With the third example, the amusement comes from the use of "entertaining guests in your bedroom". That is generally taken to mean having a romantic/sexual liaison. To suggest that instead of doing this in the bedroom, it should be done in the lobby, in public, is rather funny, don't you think?
Thank emsr2d2 and fivejedjon for the explanation. I feel the expression of "entertaining guests of opposite sex" is quite odd and gives rise to an interpretation of sexual liaison. But what did it intend to say? To receive guests of the opposite sex? In addtion, do natives use the expression of "people of the opposite sex"?
Another question: Is front desk usu usd to refer to reception desk?