Due to technical difficulties beyond our control... beats File not found

Due to technical difficulties beyond our control... beats File not found
Source: Reusableart.com

The fast pace of the new century — the thought that since we can get some things done faster, we should — has killed off some lovely expressions that nearly everyone seemed to know years ago.

One of the expressions I grew up hearing on TV and radio was “Due to technical difficulties beyond our control” and an explanation that I couldn’t hear or see a particular program (or concert, or hockey game) until those difficulties disappeared.

That expression has come back to mind lately as I’ve been battling problems with my TV, PC and — as of Friday — my phone. (I’m in the library composing this on one of the computers I can borrow for two hours a day. That’s a story for when I have more time.)

I don’t hear or read “Due to technical difficulties” expressions any more. I get “unable to deliver message,” “Error 404 not found,’ or the closest to old style, “There has been a problem with the service.”

I have a couple of quibbles here. Yes, that’s down from feeling like the volcano I found in my art file.

First, of course Error 404 is not found. I don’t even know what Error 404 is! I don’t want any Error 404, thanks very much!

The machines aren’t “delivering” their respective messages, they’re sending them… or they should be.

As for the message that “There has been a problem,” why not tell me there still is? I know there has been, and I will be able to say that when it’s ended. But a message that the problem exists ought to be in present tense when the problem is in present tense.

Here’s another fun expression I miss: Further developments as events warrant.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.

Filed under: Expressions


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  • Oh yes! I still use technical difficulties, although in these times maybe we should refer to them as technological difficulties. I hope they are fixed soon!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Thanks for the hope! I can use it, because I'm back in the library tonight!

  • At least Firefox substitutes for the Error 404 message a cartoon of a robot saying:
    "Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site.
    We can’t connect to the server at ...."

    Chrome uses:
    "This site can’t be reached ... server IP address could not be found."

    Both provide suggestions for dealing with the problem

    Hence, another reason not to use a Microsoft browser.

    Aside from there having been a problem, and "technical support" usually implying that it is my fault (occasionally it is, but not often), over the weekend I couldn't figure out why my Xfinity internet was
    out, but my Xfinity phone was not, until both were reset. Of course, all I got when the internet went out was the Firefox message stated above.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes, I'd momentarily forgotten about the robot cartoon. It does make me wonder who "we" are. The other part I didn't get time to add (until now) is the clever message that since I have trouble with my Internet connection, I should e-mail for help. How?

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    I hadn't seen the last, but I suppose the same way one can call 1800COMCAST if the digital phone is out--sit on hold on your cell phone, if any.

    Which reminds me that I had a web chat with Samsung "technical support" over why some TV Plus streaming channels weren't loading, and after 2 transfers, whatever was on the other side said "unplug your television" and "use the defaults setting." I didn't know that Microsoft reps could get jobs elsewhere. At least Xfinity can remotely reset my gateway.

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