Don’t Measure The Measurer

Don’t ‘measure the measurer’. Advertisers are major culprits but you might have seen this type of error in other places. What does it mean?
It’s such a common mistake, you mightn’t even realise why it’s wrong.

Let me explain.

Look at these three examples:

Shop here for cheaper prices.

Get ready for summer! Don’t let warmer temperatures make you hot under the collar.

Get your technology working at a faster speed for greater productivity.

Can you see what’s wrong?

‘Measure the measurer’ – what does it mean?

The problem starts with the words ‘price’, ‘temperature’ and ‘speed’.

Each of these is a measurer or indicator of something.

Price

Price’, or cost, measures or indicates the amount you have to pay for an item.

The item might be cheap or expensive but the price can’t be.

A price can be described as ‘high’, ‘low’ ‘exorbitant’, ’reasonable’ and a whole lot more. In other words, it indicates where the amount you have to pay might fall on the scale.

Temperature

Temperature’ is a measure of heat (or cold).

The weather, the air, an oven or a room might be cold, cool, warm, hot or stifling but those words can’t describe ‘temperature’.

The temperature indicates where on the scale the conditions are at a given moment. We can describe it as ‘high’, ‘low’ or, in some cases, as in oven temperatures, ‘medium’ or ‘moderate’.

Speed

Speed’ measures the rate of movement (usually in relation to time).

Your movement, pace or rate of work might be slow or fast and plenty in between but we describe speed as ‘high’, ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘moderate’.

Don’t try to measure the measurer

The advertisers’ errors can be fixed quite easily. They should read:

Shop here for lower prices.

Get ready for summer! Don’t let higher temperatures make you hot under the collar.

Get your technology working at high speed for greater productivity.

Here are some more handy Writing Tips.

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