Archives for posts with tag: Toilet

The phrase ‘to judge a book by it cover’ is a common one, and I’ve blogged before about how we should judge products by how good the accessories are, since they’re an intrinsic part of the product itself and the overall product experience.

I’m a firm believer in that you can judge a lot about a public place from the standard and cleanliness of its toilets. This is especially true of restaurants. If the toilets are not clean, what does that lead us to conclude about the restaurants’ approach to hygiene and about the kitchen in particular? Toilets are part of the product, the brand, the whole experience.

You can say exactly the same about pubs. I was out on a mini pub crawl the other evening. It was out in the country; we’re talking the deepest, darkest, quietest, most rural parts of east county Galway. Almost literally, the middle of nowhere. Some pubs you’d walk into, everyone would turn and look at you, and the decor was basic at best, very rough and ready.

The one pub that sticks in my mind? The one with the nice decor, the pleasant ambience, and, I have to say, the nicest toilets I have ever seen for a pub. Super clean, well appointed and with a recently applied expensive-looking tiling.

The pub that sticks in my mind is the one I will visit again. It got the whole product experience right, possible without consciously trying to do, but by making an effort.

 

Here’s an odd thing. The word ‘WC’, developed from the delightfully old fashioned words ‘water closet’ to disguise with true Victorian values exactly what it’s really for, is not really used in English anymore. Indeed, its prim origins remind me of the American ‘restroom’. You’re hardly going to say ‘give me a couple of minutes, I’m just going for a quick rest’, are you?

I was recently using the facilities of a French campsite and there were instructions in 4 languages about what you could not put down the toilet. Pretty standard stuff, both in terms of what you couldn’t put down the privy and in the language used. Except that, in the English sentence the word ‘toilet’ was used, and in the French, Dutch and German the word ‘WC’ was used.

I thought this was hilarious. Here’s a case of foreign languages adopting the initials of olde English words – initials that don’t mean anything in their native language – and staying with them, long after the English had abandoned their use.

Now that I think about it, there are so many slang words for toilet, at least in English.

These are the sorts of things that I pick up on, to ponder over, on a regular basis. And you thought you had problems.