Tag Archives: hotel

Well connected

This was my first full week at home in a while. In the last month or so, I’ve spent 15 days in airports, some 20 airports in all, counting connections. You might say I’ve been going at terminal velocity.

Or you might say I’ve been on an extended hub crawl. (Okay, I stole that pun from a recent issue of the US Airways in-flight magazine; being that they graciously plugged my blog last year, I owe them attribution.)

This last wave didn’t yield epic tales, as previous trips almost always have. Thankfully, this time I’m left with just a few bits of footage, which remain stored in my mental DVR:

  • There was a medical emergency mid-flight. The crew called for a doctor to tend to an ailing passenger. The woman beside me—who had noticed the clinical trial data I was reviewing in preparation for moderating a medical program—tried  to volunteer me. “Aren’t you a doctor? Can’t you do something?” I wanted to tell her that if a doctor emerged, I’d be happy to introduce him, but that’s all I was qualified to do. Instead, I said nothing.
  • Before an early flight, I watched as a woman poured Starbucks coffee into a child’s sippy cup. I was horrified, but didn’t say anything.
  • One morning I stopped for breakfast at an airport restaurant called Real Food. I ordered a pancake and bacon. When I went to cut into the pancake with a knife and fork, it was so hard that it snapped my fork in two. I couldn’t even get my teeth through the bacon. I was tempted to accuse the manager of serving Pretend Food but instead I threw my breakfast Frisbee in the trash without saying a word.
  • At what I assume was a pet-friendly hotel, I watched a dog drop his business in a carpeted corridor and walk away nonchalantly with its owner. Not a peep out of me.

No, I’m just a frequent flyer who sits quietly in the gate area listening to the Bluetoothed blowhard (there’s one at every gate) loudly putting together the big corporate deal. And I shake my head at the Smartphone Sallies who fight over the last available outlet, scrounging for electricity as if it were crack cocaine.

My personal addiction? Airport jewelry kiosks. This credit card bill’s going to be a doozy. I already know these impulse buys are irresponsible, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say anything.

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The point being

Three weeks ago, I wrote about the dreaded double-is, as in “the problem is is,” which so many people say, most likely because they misheard it somewhere, picked it up and absorbed it into their speech, thinking it sounded sophisticated. In my post that day, I explained why it is redundant and incorrect to use “is” twice in a row when not preceded by a clause.

I should have thought to bring up a related error while I was on the subject. It wasn’t until I was on the phone with a help desk employee that I remembered it.

Upon making a hotel reservation recently, I discovered that my Hilton Honors membership had lapsed. The nice lady on the line explained it this way: “The reason being is that you haven’t stayed in a Hilton since 2008.”

Well, I stayed at a Hilton just six weeks ago, but that’s beside the point. The issue is “being is…” One verb, used twice, once as a gerund, the other in the present tense. Right next to each other.

I don’t intend to be snooty or judgmental (maybe a little), but I think people believe they sound intelligent when they say “the reason being is…,” just as they do when they say “the reason is is…”

The help desk lady could have explained the membership lapse at least two ways and been grammatically correct. She could have said, “The reason is that guests who do not stay with us for one year lose their membership statuses.” Alternatively, she could have said, “Your membership has lapsed, the reason being that you have not stayed with us since 2008” (subordinate adverbial clause). One may use either “being” or “is,” one or the other, not both.  Or the lady could have left the verb “to be” out of it altogether and thrown in a simple “because.”

But never “the reason is because.” That’s a subject for a whole other day (not “a whole nother day”).

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Filed under All Things Wordish, Travel