01 April 2007


"Everything has been figured out, except how to live" Jean-Paul Sartre once said. Undeterred, the post-existentialist builders next door to where I work are offering what are described as "7 living solutions for rent". Imagine my disappointment when they turned out to be merely a series of apartments.

It probably represents one of the worst examples of the random application of the word "solution" to things which do not, apparently, answer a problem. Soup, for example, has not troubled the minds of many philosophers. Yet Baxters new 'Soup Choices' is described as a "deliciously tasty new range of healthy lunch solutions".

In the ready-meal aisle of every supermarket I'd expect to see a row of worried bachelors finding ecstatic relief upon encountering a freezer full of "meal solutions". As someone who has actually tasted some of these "meal solutions", I'd have to say: if that was the answer, it must have been a stupid question.

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