Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Needs Are Scientific Calculators

There's this women's shelter I drive by every time I go to Idaho Falls that has a marquis sign out in front. It always says "Needs Are..." then lists something.

This sign drives me nuts (and Justin's tired of hearing me complain about it so I'm complaining to you). I always thought this sign was educational, informing people (mainly their residents, I assumed) the difference between needs and wants. The sign would list things like clothing, toilet paper, stuff like that.

One day I was complaining to Justin because it said "Needs Are Scrapbooking Supplies." I was telling Justin that scrapbooking supplies really weren't needs. Justin explained that some of the women in the shelter have their children with them, so they would like scrapbooking supplies. We went back and forth and were both confused.

Basically, what it boiled down to was semantics. Grammar. I took the sign very literally. But actually, the sign is advertising what donations they would like to receive. It upsets me every time I see it. Instead of saying "Needs Are..." I think it should say "We Need..." "Please Donate..." or even "...Needed."

Today the sign reads "Needs Are Scientific Calculators."

As always, it bugged me. But I had an entertaining thought. Scientific calculators. I know what scientific calculators are. But isn't that a dumb term for them? Aren't all calculators scientific? What other kinds are there? Whimsical calculators? Musical calculators? Literary calculators?

That was my chuckle for the day.


Jamie Boyd said...

Weird... everytime I drove by that same sign I thought to myself, "I should really pick some of those items up at Walmart and donate them. But then I always worry because the "needs" are always so specific, like black size 9.5 womens work shows, or something like that. I always worry that if I go buy the item and take it back to donate it, maybe someone else already donated the same thing, and how many pairs of 9.5 black women's work shoes do they need, so I never actually donated and now I've lost my chance forever.

Jamie Boyd said...

I had a lot of typos in my last comment. It's pretty late at night. Just wanted to point that out, since I know how concerned with grammer you can be :)

I miss you.

Linds said...

Lara, this just kills me! it never occurred to me to read that sign literally. That is too funny.

ps. non-scientific calculators simply have fewer functions (no square root, no scientific notation for huge numbers).

Lara said...

I know what scientific calculators are...I just think it's a funny term for them. Again, thinking too literally. :)

Stefanie Sayre said...

i notice that sign too. but it always made me feel guilty because i would see "Needs are mops, and brooms, etc."But i guess they even need entertainment just like the rest of us, and school supplies.

The Gotch Family said...

I have to admit I am surprised that this signs angers you. It always makes me feel sad that they have to ask for toilet paper, garbage bag, and shoes. What makes me even more sad is that I have always thought to donate but I guess I left it to everyone else, and reading this I see that we all do the same thing...I'm crappy.


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