Monday, July 21, 2003

No Stowage

I've been traveling a lot recently. Well, a lot for me, anyway. Considering that I think the first time I flew on a plane was when I went to Provo, UT to go on my mission and then flew to Brazil. I may have flown before that when I was younger, but I don't remember it at all if I did.

A few months ago I was on a JetBlue aircraft on the way back from Long Beach, CA where Rachel and I had gone down to visit Jason for a 5-day weekend. I recall looking around at the signs inside the plane before take off, since they make you sit there for like an hour before the plane even moves.

I noticed that the back-left bin in the aircraft was used for the flight attendants, so they didn't want anyone else to use it. There was a small sign on that particualar bin that said "NO STOWAGE." I said it aloud because it sounded strange to me. No stowage? Don't they mean "no stoRage?"

Stowage isn't a word, is it? I laughed to myself because I thought that JetBlue had made a mistake and all of their planes said stowage on them. Not until I got home and looked up the word did I realize that I was the one that was stupid.

The word "stow" means to place or arrange, especially in a neat, compact way: stowed his gear in the footlocker or to fill (a place or container) by packing tightly. And the word "stowage" means the act, manner, or process of stowing or the state of being stored. I suppose that the word stow is appropriate when it comes to airplane bins because you really have to pack stuff tight. They NEVER have enough room for everyone's stuff.

I guess the joke's on me. But I still say that the word stowage sounds really funny - Elmer Fudd'ish.

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