6 Replies to “WitCH 133: Headphoning it In”

  1. It just reads (I know this is Napland, where things should not be taken literally, even in the reading test) that a 15 dollar sale means the items are 15 dollars and the percentage discount is therefore irrelevant.

    But I’m sure there is more to it than that.

    1. That’s what pissed me off. Who the hell has ever seen “15 sale" mean anything other than "things now cost15 (and were previously more)”. The question is a crappy “numeracy” scenario, but they completely ignore normal English usage, making the question, even on its own impoverished terms, utterly pointless. Just garbage.

  2. I think that I understand what the question is asking. There is no discount on the $13 headphones; there is a 50% discount on the headphones that are normally $25, a 10% discount on the headphones that are normally $15, and a 25% discount on the headphones that are normally $16. Which is the cheapest?

    One might object to the use of English in the question, but we are talking about shopping. Students are being tested on whether they understand language used in retailing. (BTW, I have often objected to signs that say “Up to 50% off”.)

    1. Christ, Terry. Yes, all of us here know what the damn question is asking because: (a) we’re not stupid; (b) the question has to be asking *something* and so we all conclude that it is asking the only thing that it could conceivably be asking. That doesn’t mean a Year 7 kid is going to react the same way. And even if every Year 7 kid reacts the same way, that does not for a minute excuse the idiotic wording. The question is still shithouse.

      When was the last time you say a sign saying “$25 sale” and interpreted it to mean anything other than “these items, which were more than $25, are now $25”?

      It’s a shithouse question, the only argument for which could be that it tests some “numeracy”, and it does not. The question does not even make it over that lying-on-the-ground bar. It is not incorporating “language used in retailing”; it is making up its own bullshit.

  3. I went into a shop the other day which had a hand-written sign near the cash register: “Please don’t touch the reciept.” Naturally I commented on the spelling. Next time I went in, the sign was “Please don’t touch the receipt.” Of course, the young woman serving me handed me the receipt when I had paid. What was I supposed to do? Yesterday, I noticed that the sign had been removed.

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