Monday, September 12, 2016

Gone in 6 seconds

"Where are they?"
"They are gone for smoke."

Here, the reply, if you read at once, sounds fine. Or does it? Actually, it doesn't. It's incorrect on so many levels. However, if a person says it quickly enough, the other person won't even notice because s/he would be more interested in what they are up to. In such a scenario, the urgency of the required information is so high that you damn grammar completely. However, when you are writing things down, the level of grammatical scrutiny goes up. Which is why the following conversation would have been (more) apt. 

"Where are they?"
"They are gone for smoking."

Hmm. Well, this sounds OK-ish but it still, there are room for improvements here. For example, if you truncate the answer to gone, it makes sense to some extent.

"Where are they?"
"They are gone."

But then, it's not enough as the key data is missing. You need to convey that they are on a (slow) suicide mission of roasting their lungs under the Indian sun. Which is why the following would be the most appropriate answer.

"Where are they?"
"They've gone for a smoke."


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