I saw this sign the other day when I was exploring a dock and some ships down in the Speicherstadt. Somehow I arrived too early to class, and since it no longer feels like winter, I’m a lot more likely to wander around outside. I read about the history of some old boats and came across this awful little phrase: 37 persons.
At the risk of sounding a little snooty, this “people” versus “persons” thing is starting to wear on me, as it’s one of the things I have to correct people on every day. The thing is, persons isn’t incorrect, technically speaking. But ask a native English speaker what the plural of “person” is, and they’ll say “people, (duh!).”
The only place that word appears nowadays is in legal documents or often in extremely formal documents. If you say persons, you’ll sound strange to 98% of the population. And then this sign, neither a legal document nor something formal, says persons. No wonder it’s such a confusion.
Less about grammar, more about boats!
Here is the boat the sign talked about. These are all cell phone pictures, but I must say I’m rather impressed with the quality my tiny little Sony Ericsson camera phone can produce. It’s really good at capturing the right light.
This particular morning was very windy, as you can see by the rainbow kite on this next boat!
These docks also had a drawbridge, which had really interesting-looking cables. Even though they are made out of metal, they almost look like regular rope because of the weaved look. Gorgeous! I snapped a few photos of these fascinating structures.
In the background in the next picture, you can see the Elbphilharmonie (the new philharmonic) that’s still currently under construction.
Mornings in the Speicherstadt are simply the best.