Aisle Five

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prpeggy

Senior Member
Chinese-Taiwan
From Reader's Digest fun column :.

A story entilted 'Loud Child in Aisle Five' describes a funny story that happens at a supermarket. I wonder if Aisle Five has any special meanings and google a bit. To my surprise, there are a bunch of 'Aisle Fives' in all kinds of articles. What does it mean?

Thanks for response.
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The aisles in supermarkets are usually numbered for convenient reference, so that if you're looking for a particular item, someone on the staff can tell you where to find it. As far as I know, there's no particular significance to aisle 5.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    As Parla says, I suppose there is no particular significance to aisle 5 other than that five rhymes with child...
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Well, it does not rhyme perfectly well, but at least the vowel sound is the same and they are both monosyllabic. :D This is enough for my ear to decide they rhyme. :D Maybe you are looking for complete perfection like five-dive and child-mild, but this is not a perfect world :)
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    There is some assonance, boozer, granted, but no rhyme. It could be that loud children are available for purchase in aisle 5, if there are any takers. :)
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    First, I'd say that it is 'aisle five' not 'aisle any other number' because five has the same vowel sound as aisle so we have a touch of onomatapoeia which pleases us.

    Second, some posters might not be familiar with supermarket shopping, or not in English- speaking countries, so it can usefully be explained that when there's an incident, usually a spill or breakage, an announcement is made " Clean up aisle (X)!", or something like that, meaning cleaners need to go to aisle (X). I once heard a call for 'first aid aisle X' because someone had fainted. But of course the joke is that such a call wouldn't be made to deal with a noisy child. ( More's the pity!) I read a suggestion on a forum that ' ( -) on aisle five!' has become a light-hearted way of drawing attention to something having happened that needs urgent attention by whoever you say it to. "Aisle five" has become a - what?- 'figure of speech'? Metaphor?

    A bit like 'Room 101' is used to mean a horrible place or your worst fears and dislikes.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_101

    :)

    Hermione
     
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    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    A bit like 'Room 101' is used to mean a horrible place or your worst fears and dislikes.
    Thanks for that comment, Hermione. Sounds as if it might be like our use of "[subject] 101" to mean something very elementary, because the basic course in a college curriculum is often so labeled (e.g., Physics 101).
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In supermarkets, there are often accidents, bottles are broken, eggs are dropped, etc, and a call is put out over the loudspeaker system giving the location of the accident, e.g. "Clean up in aisle 5!" to summon the cleaning staff. (Obviously, the number changed to the designated aisle.)

    This common call was taken up as "Clean up in aisle 5!" (a random choice of number) to indicate that a mistake had been made in any walk of life that needed immediate attention/corrective action.

    Thus aisle 5 entered the language as the generic place where unfortunate things happen.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    When the same vowel sound is repeated with different leading consonants, we call it assonance​.
     
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