We Delete Your Problem

On a lighter note, I have been passing by this small firm on my way home from the university for many months now, but it needed my rapidly developing déformation professionelle as a budding computer scientist, it seems, for me to realize what an unfortunate double entendre this shop’s advertisement contains.

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For the non-German speakers, literally this says, “PC Fire Brigade. We put out (or extinguish) every problem!”. An odd metaphor even in English, I suppose. What makes it rather funny in German, once you notice, is that löschen means not just to put out a fire, but also–in a computer context–to delete. So you call the PC Fire Brigade and say “Help! I have a problem with my operating system”, and they say “Not to worry, sir, we’ll delete it right away”? Rather an odd way to advertise one’s business …

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