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Ostrich

Singers named Rimsky-Korsakov...

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I really don't know where to post this, but I thought this would be my best bet (I found it while looking up ballet, it's about opera and the reason I'm posting it is really to do with language):

In the announcements section of the Mariinsky's official website:

"2nd - 11th November Fourth International Competition for Singers named Rimsky Korsakov"

Mel, what's the name for this sort of mistake? I notice you're good at these things. In German it's called a stilbluete, but I can't think of the English word for it.

The Russians seem to have a talent for this kind of thing. I know of a Russian bar notice which read:

"Women are not allowed to have children inside the bar"

I didn't see it myself, though.

Edited by Ostrich

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In English, the error is called "conflict of agreement" or "dangling participle". Is the competition named Rimsky-Korsakov, or is it only open to singers named Rimsky-Korsakov? I somehow suspect the former way, as the latter would make for a pretty dull competition, but a pretty good family reunion for the Rimsky-Korsakovs! "And now, here's good old tone-deaf Uncle Harry, who will murder 'On the Road to Mandalay.'"

I can see the followup line to the sign in the bar:

"Men, however, are encouraged to have children inside the bar.

We need all the publicity we can get!" :unsure:

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Off at a tangent, I had a colleague who claimed to have won an argument with a restaurant manager after he lit up under a sign which read "No smoking allowed". He argued that, while "no smoking" was a permitted option, there was nothing at all to prevent him smoking.

Jane

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Your friend is actually on fairly sound grammatical grounds. That's the problem with slogans. They don't have sufficient information to convey the exact message intended. One could argue that totally stopping all body movement when encountering a "STOP" sign and breezing right through carried out the essence of the message, but I don't think a policeman or a judge would agree.

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I always rather liked seeing, as on a hotel door, the statement "This door is alarmed".

Sorry, WAY OT I guess.

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