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Schlimmbesserung – a so-called improvement that makes things worse

What examples come to mind?
 
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Don't get me started on the subject of the IPod !!!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by wordcrafter:
Schlimmbesserung – a so-called improvement that makes things worse

What examples come to mind?

Telephone calls answered by automatic voice messages: "if you want…press one; if you want…press two; if you want…press three etc.etc. etc. One of the most trying, lazy and offensive forms of modern non-communication.

Pearce Mad
 
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Bendy buses.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Arnie, I am not authorized to view your site. [Hey...maybe the improvement that made things worse is computers! Wink]

Those stupid plastic bags at the grocery store. What happened to paper? Also at the grocery stores, those new self-checkout systems. Why don't they just hire me? Mad

BTW, what about improvements that have unintended consequences? I wonder if German has a word for that, too. Roll Eyes
 
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K, I can't see why you've a problem. It's only a blog (using blogspot).


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Originally posted by Kalleh:

Those stupid plastic bags at the grocery store. What happened to paper?


From TV most British viewrs know about the paper bags used in US stores and the inevitable response is "Why do they use those stupid paper bags that you need both arms to carry? Why can't they use sensible plastic bags with handles?"

This is definitely a US/UK cultural thing.
 
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Keg beer; erszatz pilsners; Dudweiser clones.


Richard English
 
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I agree with Arnie. I can carry four or six plastic bags from a UK supermarket (that's 24 pints of essential supplies) but not even half that amount from a US store.


Richard English
 
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I agree with Arnie and Richard - I like the plastic bags better. I can carry more, and the bags have more uses afterwards (they're the perfect size for my small trash cans in my house, work well to carry lunch, books, knitting, whatever, great for dirty, smelly things like kitty litter scoopings because you can then tie them off).

Once in a while I request paper bags if I need to use them for a craft project or cover a textbook.


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Yoo-hoo! Over here. It was me guys. Not arnie. Arnie commented on bendy buses.
 
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So sorry, darling. Of course it was you!

I am in agreement with BOB about the BAGS. Big Grin


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Doess schlimmbesserung apply to improvements in technology only? Is it considered schlimmbesserung when a prescription drug's side effects are worse problems than those of the original illness?
 
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Actually, I do agree with Bob and Richard (and CW) about plastic bags.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Actually, I do agree with Bob and Richard (and CW) about plastic bags.

And I agree with Arnie about bendy-buses (or one-shot lighters, as I believe they're called).

The Routemasters are still the finest buses ever made and it's a disgrace that one megalomaniac could, without reference to anyone, get rid of them at a stroke.


Richard English
 
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Alright already! We Chicagoans are in the minority then about the paper bags. When I am in the grocery store and the bagger says, "Paper or plastic?", inevitably the customer will say paper. [Aside: I asked my youngest daughter, who was 6 years old at the time, what she wanted to be when she grew up. She said, "I want to be a grocery store clerk." That rather threw me (You don't want to go to college?), and I said, "Why?" She said, "Because I want to ask people if they want paper or plastic." Smile] I like paper because we use it to line our kitchen and mudroom waste baskets. However, I have also heard that the plastic bags are much harder on the environment than the paper bags are. At any rate, I surrender about the paper bags!

quote:
K, I can't see why you've a problem. It's only a blog (using blogspot).
Strange, Arnie. The link didn't work for me last night; I tried several times. However, it does now.

Saranita, I'd think the side effects of medications would be a perfect example. Good idea!
 
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Alright already! We Chicagoans are in the minority then about the paper bags.

K., my wife also hates the plastic bags and for precisely the same reasons as you.

The plastic bags are pushed because they are much cheaper. They were just coming in when I was a youngster working in a grocery store and I remember a sign in the back room telling us to use the new plastic bags bags unless the customer insisted on paper because they cost less than a cent each while the paper ones cost 2.5 cents (or something like that; it's been awhile).
 
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The Routemasters are still the finest buses ever made and it's a disgrace that one megalomaniac could, without reference to anyone, get rid of them at a stroke.


Whoa. Time out. Am I to understand London no longer has red double-decker buses?
 
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The classic Routemaster (which replaced the RT - also a wonderful bus) is being replaced after nearly half a century of service. The (spurious) reasons given were that it cost too much as it needed a conductor; it was dangerous because people could fall off the open platform; it couldn't cope with wheelchair passengers. All "faults" that were either spurious or could easily have been resolved.

So now we have nasty German bendy-buses that everyone apart from Ken Livingstone hates and driver-only double-deckers that take twice as long to load and unload as did the old Routemasters.

Make sure you get to London this year (06 October would be a good time) if you want to ride on a Routemaster before they all disappear.


Richard English
 
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To expand Richard's response, London still has mostly double-decker buses but many of the routes that until recently used to be served by Routemasters now have single-decker bendy buses instead.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Glad to hear, Neveu, that someone agrees with me about the plastic bags. Smile

Now here's another one. I don't know about England, but here in the U.S. many of the public restrooms are moving to faucets with no handles. Some sensor supposedly senses when your hands are under and the water supposedly turns on then. If it works, it's more hygienic because you don't need to touch the faucet handles. However, my experience is that about 80% of the time they don't work. Women are going from faucet to faucet, trying to find one to work. Some just plain give up and don't wash their hands (yuk!), and sometimes not one faucet in the whole blasted bathroom will work. This they call an improvement?

Perhaps the rest of you find them all to be working?
 
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Yes, we've already got those taps in England-why though? Is the herculean effort of turning a tap on and off too much for the average person?
And I hate those damn hand dryers- blasted things usually aren't working either!
 
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Then again, if the taps don't work you won't need the dryer- what an ingenious energy saving device!
 
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Completely unrelated, but the talk of taps reminded me, is something that I first encountered at anumber of campgrounds in the USA but have since seen everywhere including here in the UK. Sinks which have taps which only stay on while you are pressing them (supposedly for a few seconds after) as a water saving measure, combined with no plug for the sink to stop people leaving dirty water in. How the hell are you supposed to wash? As soon as you take your hand off the top of the tap the water stops running and the little water that is in the sink runs away. You end up trying to cup enough water in one hand to wash the other hand and washing your face is plainly impossible.

And yes, the college where I work has this system.
 
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As for plastic/ paper. If they just made paper bags with handles we could all be happy, couldn't we. Paper bags without handles are just impossible when you have more than a trivial amount of shopping.
 
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I assumed that both the spring-loaded taps and sensing taps were to curb vandalism: kids plug up the sinks and leave the water running. Obviously there are places where this shouldn't be a real issue but have these kinds of taps nevertheless.
 
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Spring-loaded taps are a very old idea - older than vandalism. I remember them well over half a century ago when the idea of damaging public property just for fun was unheard (in my part of the world, anyway). Their purpose is to save water by ensuring that they cannot be left on.

One of the main problems with the things (apart from their not staying on long enough) is the fact that the temperature for them is set by the hot-water system and, if it's too hot, then there's little one can do to avoid being burnt.

I have recently been visiting a local hospital and they have exhortations everywhere for staff and visitors to wash their hands. But some of the washrooms have taps marked "Beware - very hot water" and although there are cold taps, there are no plugs in the basins so one can't mix the water. So it has to be a very rapid pass under the hot tap and then under the cold to prevent third-degree burns.

Fortunately some adminstrator has used his or her common sense (there's a first) and some of the taps have been replaced with mixers so that a suitable temperature can be obtained.


Richard English
 
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Are most sinks in the UK still using 2 spigots in one sink, or do you have mostly 1 spigot with 2 controls?


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I'd say it's abou fifty fifty. Modern buildings tend to be one, older ones tend to be two but that's very rule of thumb and there are still plenty of new facilities being built with two.
 
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Spring-loaded taps are a very old idea - older than vandalism

I didn't mean they were invented to reduce costs from vandalism, I meant they are being purchased for that reason.
 
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How the hell are you supposed to wash? As soon as you take your hand off the top of the tap the water stops running and the little water that is in the sink runs away.

Oh, Bob, you are so right! I forgot about those really ridiculous faucets. Women with purses make it even worse. Having my purse on my arm, pressing the handle, and then trying to quickly get the other hand wet...is a feat. Don't these bozos who invent these things ever use them? BTW, Richard, I bet they were invented in England! Wink
quote:
As for plastic/ paper. If they just made paper bags with handles we could all be happy, couldn't we. Paper bags without handles are just impossible when you have more than a trivial amount of shopping.

Our paper bags for shopping do have handles. I am happy. Smile
 
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We have paper grocery shopping bags with handles, too, but the handles can't withstand too much weight. I tried to carry my knitting in one of them and one of the handles tore right off (of course, I had a few books in there, too). They're still pretty much for single use. If you want bags to use over and over you have to get string bags or canvas bags. I know several people who take their own bags to the store to preserve resources.


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~Dalai Lama
 
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Yes, I've seen the canvas bags, too, and I love that idea. I carry all my groceries with paper bags with handles, and they don't ever rip. I love them. I agree with Bob, though, that the handles are an important aspect. I remember when the paper bags didn't have handles, and that was a mess.
 
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Yes, we've already got those taps in England-why though? Is the herculean effort of turning a tap on and off too much for the average person?
And I hate those damn hand dryers- blasted things usually aren't working either!

The reason is for hygiene. Think of how contaminated those faucet handles are since people touch them right after going to the bathroom. Yes, they then wash their hands, but if they rush and don't use soap...well, it could be contaminating. As nurses we are always taught to wash our hands, take a paper towel, and turn off the faucet handles with the paper towel. Surgical suites have sinks where you turn the water on and off either with your feet or with your knees.
 
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Almost every time I visit the Gents' at work I've noticed that most(including me) use paper towels in preference to the electric hand dryer. Is that general?

BTW, another type of tap used in hospitals has a very long handle that is turned on/off by the user's elbow.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Yes, I've forgotten about the elbow faucet handle.

If there are paper towels available, I much prefer them to the hand dryer.
 
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Two hand-made signs posted in an Interstate 70 Rest Area Men's Room in Kansas ...

1) (over the tiny very bright flashing yellow light on the Urinal) "Stand close and be inspected by the Kansas Electronic Pecker Checker."

... and ...

2) (on the hot-air hand dryer) "For a two-minute speech by Our President, please push the button."
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
quote:
Yes, we've already got those taps in England-why though? Is the herculean effort of turning a tap on and off too much for the average person?
And I hate those damn hand dryers- blasted things usually aren't working either!

The reason is for hygiene. Think of how contaminated those faucet handles are since people touch them right after going to the bathroom. Yes, they then wash their hands, but if they rush and don't use soap...well, it could be contaminating. As nurses we are always taught to wash our hands, take a paper towel, and turn off the faucet handles with the paper towel. Surgical suites have sinks where you turn the water on and off either with your feet or with your knees.


-Fair enough I think in Hospitals but over here the tap-less taps(!) I've only seen in Motorway Services where generally no surgical operations take place- although they might be needed after you've had the food! A little bit of galloping germs is generally good for those of us not engaged in medical pursuits!
 
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