Sale Continues Instore

15 04 2010

You’ll see this outside shops towards the end of a sales period. It’s like during the early days of the sale, notices all over the windows announce,  indeed scream out,  the fact. Then towards the end, as the crowds dribble to a drop, but the prices are still low, the “sale continues instore” sign pops up. Sometimes it’s spelled in-store, sometimes instore, sometimes in store. It’s a new concept so it’ll be unstable for a while yet, as is the way with new language. ( Bus stop went through this too.  )

What does it mean?  If you know the context, the meaning is:

We’re at the tail end of our massive sale. You really should have got here sooner, that’s when the best stuff was available. But there’s still some good stuff left, and some bargains too, so come on in and eat your heart out.

Without context, both immediate physical context and wider cultural context, you rely on the words alone. Did the sale start outdoors? Why did it move inside? Why are they telling us this?

As is often the way, it’s when we can’t milk the words as we see them, disembodied from context, then we ask: Why?  And often the “why” gets us to the agenda, and then  we’re there, or at least close by, and able to guess at what we need to know in order to decode the words.

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