[Grammar] We are experiencing a high volume of customers contacting us at the moment.

kadioguy

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Thank you for contacting Oxford University Press. Your query has been received and we will contact you as soon as we can.

We are experiencing a high volume of customers contacting us at the moment. This may mean a delay in our responding to you. You should receive a response within 5 days.
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Does the sentence in blue color mean a. or b.?
Could you tell me the reason?

a. We are experiencing a high volume of customers' contacting us at the moment.

b. We are experiencing a high volume of customers (that are) contacting us at the moment.
 

Matthew Wai

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I think it means (a) because we experience something rather than someone.
 

Matthew Wai

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Only nine examples are shown at my end.
 

Rover_KE

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Aren't nine examples enough to demonstrate the point?
 

kadioguy

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Aren't nine examples enough to demonstrate the point?

At my end, there are only eight examples shown; three of them are "experiencing a lot of Customers' orders".

Does it mean that this usage is unusual?

2017-11-06_200622.jpg
 

Matthew Wai

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I take 'experience a lot of people' to mean 'experience a situation where there are a lot of people (doing something)'.
 
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Charlie Bernstein

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To me, it means B.

But as you can see, it's arguable. The problem is the Oxford writer's bad phrasing. How can you experience a volume? You can't. It's what we call "junk English": words (often of more than one syllable) that just take up space.

It should say something like:

- We have a large number of customers contacting us . . . .
- We have a long queue of customers to respond to . . . .
- We're responding to a large number of customers now . . . .

Moral: If you have something to say, come out and say it!
 

emsr2d2

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It's more common to hear "We are experiencing a high volume of calls ..." on the phone or "We are experiencing a high volume of emails ..." on the net.
 

Matthew Wai

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A volume of something means an amount of something. How can you experience an amount? You can't.

That's how I understand it.
 

kadioguy

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A volume of something means an amount of something. How can you experience an amount? You can't.

That's how I understand it.

In emsr2d2's opinion, we can say:

"We are experiencing a high volume of calls ..." on the phone or "We are experiencing a high volume of emails ..." on the net.

So I don't know why we cannot experience an amount (or a volume) (of something). :?:
 

Matthew Wai

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Perhaps it is junk in AmE, which Charlie Bernstein speaks.
 
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