Dec 132012

Many native speakers of English also don’t have a good sense of what it is exactly they’re saying.  The sign below, that I saw recently at our local gym and sports club, displays a good example of this.  It shows what happens when somebody writes what he thinks he’s hearing. If this can happen to native speakers, it can happen all the more so to learners of English.

Find the big error.  Then look below the image.

lost in found

Have you ever LOST something? And have you ever then FOUND it?   The expression is “lost AND found”, not lost “in” found.

Because “and” often sounds like n –> lost and found sounds like lost n found, somebody then thinks the expression is “lost in found”. But that belies the logic of the expression: lost, and then hopefully found.

If you ever lose something, ask, “Do you have a lost and found here?”

Send us other examples of expressions that you think have been misrepresented in writing. They’re out there, just waiting for you!


  2 Responses to “Fix That Sign: Lost * Found”

  1. Lost and found

  2. Correct! Said quickly, it sounds like “lost ‘n found” which a learner of English might think is “lost in found”. But the idea is the item has been lost AND now it has been found.

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