Sunday, June 04, 2006

Missing missing images

A couple of times recently I've had this warning message from Eudora:

The message you are sending is missing at least one of its images. It will be sent without the missing image(s).

The message pulled me up short the first time I saw it, and the second time as well, at which point I copied it before hitting OK.

I've looked at it again a couple of times since then, and I can't make up my mind whether it makes sense or not. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. It seems to depend on how I'm feeling at the time. I know what it means, but does it really say what it means?

Is missing the problem? If the sentence said, It will be sent without the images, it is clear, isn't it? We already know that the images are missing. When missing is used again, it is redundant, because the implies missing already. It is like saying the message will be sent with missing missing images.

Or ... is it?

Wait ... maybe it depends on whether you understand without to modify images or missing images.

Or, maybe ...

I am becoming very sleepy. Aren't you? Why are you still here?

6 comments:

pkchukiss said...

Please don't get me wrong! I am not a stalker...

Not one that you know of anyway... *cue evil laughter*

Radioactive Jam said...

I wonder how much thought went into the wording of that warning. Or - best case - it's a "generated" thing: some do-all error handler combines sentence fragments and presents a context-specific message.

Right, chance not.

Years ago I heard a radio announcer toss out this quip regarding an event: "That's one you won't want to fail to miss." I still get brain spasms trying to parse it.

kenju said...

Yes, it is redundant.

Cheryl said...

But is it possible to send a message wit a variety of images (perhaps in a variety of formats) and only have one image or one type of image 'fall off'?

If so, to say it is sent without the images would imply all of them, so it has to stipulate its referring to the originally missing ones, again.

Or something. I think. And no, I wasn't very sleepy, but now,...

The Editter said...

Ah, but it could be said "will be sent with the image missing" and mean what it's supposed to mean, so does that make the "without" wrong?

Ms Mac said...

Blimey! Eudora takes me back! It was the first email manager thingy we ever had when we first got dial up in 1997!