(Just a shame it’s not actually real)
On another subject there’s one of those SMS idiot-baiting add campaigns on at the moment (the ones where they try and make you pay good money to message the answer to a fairly inane question for the miniscule chance of wining a prize) that’s really annoying me. Well, more so than they usually do anyway. It’s offering the prize of a motor scooter and the rather inane question you have to answer to go into the draw is “What does a scooter run on?”. The options are “A: Fuel” or “B: Gas”. Frankly, neither of them is particularly well thought out.
First of all anything a machine runs on (including gas) is fuel by definition. If you built a scooter that ran on fluffy little kittens (as one guy in Germany seems to have done recently I seem to recall) then it’d still run on fuel wouldn’t it? It’s just that the fuel would be fluffy little kittens. So you’d think that would be the obvious answer.
But – the word ‘fuel’ is a blanket term for any substance that can be converted to energy, which by definition would include gas. So, if you answer “Fuel” you’re also answering “Gas”, since gas is a kind of fuel. You can’t actually separate the two. Making matters worse there’s the American meaning of ‘gas’. Now, OK this isn’t America, but it’s still a recognised usage. So, if we assume that you’re using American English, then yes – scooters run on gas.
So, do scooters run on fuel, or gas? Yes. Scooters run on fuel (an energy source) – by definition. They also run on fuel (petrol). But they don’t run on gas (gas), which is a fuel (energy source), so they don’t run on a specific fuel (gas) (unless they’ve undergone an LPG conversion in which case they do run on gas (gas) which is of course a fuel (energy source)). However they do also run on gas (petrol) which is both a fuel (energy source) and fuel (petrol). It’s a semantic nightmare of epic proportions.
I wish advertising people would actually think now and then. But I suppose that’s asking too much. After all if they were able to think they wouldn’t be in advertising…