Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Metasyntactic goods

I want one of those things..
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This would be a large display board of brightly coloured packets of various sizes containing randomly selected items. Used in DIY stores, car parts departments, electrical goods stores etc, in fact anywhere you get people coming in and saying " I want one of those thingies that does ****". Packets could be labelled "Doohickey (large)", "Wossname (pink)" "Dooberry (with small two-pronged effort on one end and large green thingummy on other)". This would shorten queues for those of us who know what we want (and what it's called). Most of the customers for these would then at least go home and try it out....
unclepete, Mar 03 2004


       I was sure we had a similar idea here already (clueless shoppers being a popular topic of frustration), but I'm having real trouble finding it. Oh the irony. I guess I better check the Halfbakery's doohickey category.
kropotkin, Mar 03 2004

       I've been in many hardware stores that stick an array of items on a board with a short label underneath. For example, all cable lugs are lined up in order of size and colour. All screws, bolts, wire, and so on.
In a foreign country it's a godsend, because knowing THAT much vocab. is difficult. But it's easy to point and say "One of those, but in 10mm, please".
Actually, I've also been in bars, where the girls photographs are also lined up in a similar fashion. Simply choose a number.
Anyway, back to the point; is this the type of thing that you mean?
Ling, Mar 03 2004

       This is really for those customers who don't actually know what they want, and couldn't explain it if they tried. Let's hope Kropotkin got something from the HB doohickey shelf, although it might have been a doodad he really needed. Problem here is choice. What do you do in these bars? "can I have one of those in redhead and size 10 please?"
unclepete, Mar 04 2004

       Don't trust facts, they can be used to prove anything.
dpsyplc, Mar 09 2004

       I read a science fiction story about a guy who travelled through time and took "averages" of what people referred to by various metasyntactic variables. They differed from year to year, and there were collectors.   

       Maybe sometime I'll remember the title and author...
Detly, Mar 09 2004

       [unclepete]! [unclepete], if you can hear me, I'm calling your bluff on 'metasyntactic'. Are you sure you know what it means?   

       From Wikipedia - //the real reason for the term metasyntactic variable is that it sounds cool//
pertinax, Nov 07 2007


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