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Supermarket announcements July 2, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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Is it just an Irish thing or does it permeate the known world ? I speak, of course, of the rather silly, strangely intoned and utterly annoying supermarket announcements made over the public address system.

You know the ones – one of the 4 (very busy) assistants behind the convenience counter gets on the portable microphone and yells “Mary Murphy to the grocery inforMAY-SHENNN please, Mary MURRPheee”. Typing cannot do it justice ! To me, it’s akin to nails on a chalkboard … or the way one of the workers in my old job used to say ‘hello’ – but with her it was more like a nasal “Hill-awwww” while someone had a good hold of your b*llix.

My question (isn’t there always a question) is did some middle manager come up with a winning formula as to the best way to page someone over a supermarket PA ? or did the staff come up with it themselves … can anyone offer an explanation for the absolutely strange intonation that we are subjected to while queueing for our lunch … it’s as if we’re in Australia !

I’m off now to the canTEEN.

PS – I don’t really suppose that a monotoned and boring voice would be great for such announcements either …

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1. Conortje - July 2, 2007

better than the train station ones though which are mumbled through a crap system just when you have about 30 seconds to get to the right train – nightmare trying to decipher what is being said!

2. Rambling Man - July 2, 2007

oh or the ones actually on the train – well irish ones anyway – welcome aboard the 9 hundred hours service from portlaoise to ballygobackwards – may we remind passengers that this train has NO services whatsoever and if you paid for a 1st class seat, the school kids next to you didn’t and we don’t care ! choo choo !

3. laurie - July 3, 2007

i think the question is, are there any loudspeaker announcements that DO work?

we have one in our place of work, and every time there’s an announcement everyone in the room spends the next five minutes saying, “what’d they say? what’d they say?”

sometimes we find out, sometimes we don’t.

4. Rambling Man - July 3, 2007

there seems to be a set syntax for PA messages in Ireland – like at a football or hurling game. “Would the owner of a red Opel Cadet, regis-trAYYYshen number ZERO 5 C WAN 4 3 8 please move it, as it’s causing an awful obstruction.”

In fact I’m going to do a post on “You know you’re in Ireland when …”

5. You know you’re in Ireland when … « The Rambling Man - July 3, 2007

[…] July 3, 2007 Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish. trackback Following on from yesterday’s post about announcements and the way there seems to be a set syntax and stupid way of saying a lot of […]

Kathleen - February 4, 2010

The bombardment of noise-on-noise marketing messages seemed to begin in the U.S. with K-Mart’s so-called Blue Light Specials. So this may be an ill Ireland inherited from the States.

One grocery chain in my neighborhood (in Denver, Colorado) has begun loudspeaker pitches every few minutes. I protested to the management, but doubt they can hear my voice over the frenetic combination of elevator music and whiny, nasal soprano clerks.

The sad part is, the noise-on-noise approach to grocery store sales has long since proven ineffective.

6. RamblingMan - February 5, 2010

true kathleen ! thanks for the comment


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