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It's official: 'unlimited' means 'limited'

Unlimited should mean exactly that. What's the point in having a language if tech companies can simply change the meaning of words when it suits them?

Gadgets

Nate and I both get cross about the abuse of the word unlimited when it comes to download limits on broadband and mobile internet. As writers, we are both of the opinion that there isn't much point in having a language if tech companies can simply change the meaning of words when it suits them.

To combat this, Nate suggested to the OED that it change the definition of 'unlimited' from "something without limit" to "something with as many limits as you like". And while he was moaning to the publisher of the worlds most famous dictionary, I was complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority about a Vodafone advert which implied mobile data tariffs allowed "unlimited access to Facebook".

It turns out that I was joined by a further 20 people, who all agreed that some aspect of Vodafone's campaign was not only an affront to the language, but actually quite misleading and had the potential to cause people problems when they consumed too much data, and got a stroppy letter, or charged for their usage.

Sadly the ASA didn't agree with us, claiming that Vodafone made it clear that there was a fair usage policy and that, and I paraphrase only slightly here, 'it's okay to change the meaning of the word unlimited because everyone calls it unlimited and everyone has a cap'.

So there you have it, words you thought you understood you actually don't thanks to those ignorant* badger bothering** morons*** at Vodafone.

* Ignorant now means lovely
** 'Badger bothering' is 'kind hearted'
*** 'Morons' means 'wonderful humans'

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