Behold this email I received from Comcast after telling them I wanted to receive all my bills online, with no paper copies:
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 22:51:07 -0600 (MDT) From: Comcast Customer Care To: Ryan Grove Subject: Confirmation of Completed Changes DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE. IT WAS SENT FROM AN AUTOMATED SYSTEM AND REPLIES WILL NOT BE ANSWERED. ================================================== This message confirms that your statement delivery method has been changed to not receive a paper statement. Please allow one full billing cycle for this change to take effect. Although you have elected to receive a paper statement, you will also continue to receive an online statement -- it is an account management feature of Online Bill Pay and cannot be disabled at this time. Thank you for using Online Bill Pay to manage your Comcast account. =================================================== Sincerely, Comcast Customer Care
Note the usage of “to not”. While I’m not normally opposed to the occasional split infinitive, I feel very strongly that the word “to” should never ever immediately precede the word “not”. It sounds stupid, like something a fifth grader would write. Also note, of course, the fact that the message is completely ambiguous. It says that I have decided “to not receive a paper statement”, but goes on to say that I have decided to receive a paper statement.
Why aren’t these people paying me money instead of the other way around?