Here is an email I received from my capmus Public Safety department, at "1:26 PM" on Monday December 8, 2003, today. Now, it's pretty much a given that the people who work Public Safety here can't write for ***. But can anyone make heads or tails of this message? My room mate, I, and another friend of ours thought of about five or six possibilities. But, we're completely unsure:

"SNOW REMOVAL:
Please be advised that the Physical Plant Department will be clearing the student parking lots beginning tomorrow morning at 5:00 AM. ALL student vehicles must be removed from the students lots no later than 12 MID this date. ALL vehicles must move into the lots that have been cleared, Student Lot # 4, Hogan Lot # 3 and Hogan Lot # 2.
Once the student lots have been cleared, please move your vehicle back into the student lots. All vehicles must be back into the students lots no later than 12 Mid on Tuesday 12/9/03. If you have any questions, please contact Public Safety at X2224.
Also be aware that student parking, in the garage, is restricted to the areas designated for students. Any vehicles parked in the Faculty/Staff designated areas are subject to being ticketed and/or towed at the owners expense.

Public Safety Department."
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But can anyone make heads or tails of this message?

12 MID must be midnight before they start to remove snow. They wouldstruggle to remove it otherwise, wouldn't they? Get out before midnight, go away to SL4, HL3 or HL2, then when the snow has been removed you can come back. I just wonder whether 12 Mid 12/9/03 starts or ends the day.
If you have any questions, please contact Public Safety at X2224.Go on then.

Hanna
Here is an email I received from my capmus Public Safety department, at "1:26 PM" on Monday December 8, 2003, ... parked in the Faculty/Staff designated areas are subject to being ticketed and/or towed at the owners expense. Public Safety Department."

Cars must be moved out of uncleared student lots by moving them to already cleared lots (those listed) by midnight tonight. Once the lots are cleared, the cars should be moved back before midnight tomorrow.

The writing is murky, but the intent is clear.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
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Here is an email I received from my capmus Public Safety department, at "1:26 PM" on Monday December 8, 2003, ... My room mate, I, and another friend of ours thought of about five or six possibilities. But, we're completely unsure:

Seemed clear enough to me. What are these various meanings that you are coming up with?
Brian Rodenborn
Here is an email I received from my capmus Public Safety department, at "1:26 PM" on Monday December 8, 2003, ... lots no later than 12 Mid on Tuesday 12/9/03. If you have any questions, please contact Public Safety at X2224.

It's perfectly clear. You have to have your car no later than midnight tomorrow, that is to say Tuesday, December 9, which is prior to 5:00 a.m. tomorrow, that is to say Tuesday, December 9. After they remove the snow, you have to have your car back no later than midnight Tuesday, December 9.

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...
} Cars must be moved out of uncleared student lots by moving them to already } cleared lots (those listed) by midnight tonight. Once the lots are cleared, } the cars should be moved back before midnight tomorrow. }
} The writing is murky, but the intent is clear.
They should have had a P.S.: "Joey, go out to the lot at about eleven tonight and see if you can guess what to do. Likewise, go out to the lot at about eleven tomorrow night and guess again." Without that, it's obvious that they're ganging up on him.
"This date" could be pretty confusing for Joey's generation. It's no help that it's followed by "tomorrow", because that's in a whole nother sentence.

R. J. Valentine
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"SNOW REMOVAL: Please be advised that the Physical Plant Department will be clearing the student parking lots beginning tomorrow morning ... into the lots that have been cleared, Student Lot #4, Hogan Lot # 3 and Hogan Lot # 2. "

The obvious flaw is that MID is ambiguous:
it could mean midday or midnight, so that
the reader must decide which from the context.
You could remind the local Public Safety Department the use of Noon and Midnight would be unambiguous.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
Don Phillipson filted:
The obvious flaw is that MID is ambiguous: it could mean midday or midnight, so that the reader must decide which from the context. You could remind the local Public Safety Department the use of Noon and Midnight would be unambiguous.

Ah, but is Midnight on Thursday an hour after Midnight on Thursday night?...or is it an hour before one am Thursday morning?...see?...always that ambiguity..r
It's not ambiguous here for that reason. "Midday" is not a word that is used in the US often enough to be recognized as an interpretation of "MID". "MID" is only ambiguous in that it is a rare abbreviation for "midnight". I assume they avoided "12 PM" because that can be more of a problem. "12 Midnight" would be better.
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