Monday, March 21, 2016

Rolling up or back or down...preposition troubles again!

If you're not familiar with Canadian culture, you may not have heard of a chain restaurant called Tim Hortons, though some of them have started opening up in the US and the Middle East. However, I'm unsure if they offer the same contest that Tim's runs early every year called "Roll up the Rim" to win all kinds of prizes, most of which include a free coffee or doughnut. Somehow it struck me today that the name of the contest makes no sense. Take a look at the photo below:

Source: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1058178/images/o-ROLL-UP-THE-RIM-facebook.jpg
You can see that the cups are designed with rolled edges (which most cups of this type are). In order to get the cups' edges to roll like this, we are rolling them up. The contest's name, therefore, doesn't make sense because the cups are already rolled, meaning we have to unroll the rim or roll it back to reveal what we hope is winning information under the rolled up rim. The correct name of the contest should be "Unroll the Rim" or "Roll Back the Rim" if they want to be grammatically correct.

Prepositions are difficult at the best of times, and it's no wonder English language learners can easily get confused when we use multiple terms for the same thing. I'm pretty sure Tim's doesn't really care about my critique and will not be changing the name of their contest any time soon, but I'd like to acknowledge those of you are doing your best to learn English because you are to be commended!

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