Imagine my surprise when I saw the headline in The Telegraph on 20 August 2011: Pot plants in firing line as Goldman Sachs cuts cost. Why would a company allow such a thing to happen? Isn’t this illegal? Would the Met Police strike force come charging in once phone hacking becomes old news? If you are wondering why my eyes are bulging out and my mouth is dropped open, please let me explain.
In the American vernacular, a pot plant is a “pot plant”, if you know what I mean. It is something to be cultivated, processed and then smoked, if you know what I mean. They are usually kept out of sight of law enforcement and prospective clients. Had the story appeared in American news it would have read: Potted plants in firing line as Goldman Sachs cuts cost. These are what we see as plants placed in pots to grow and brighten up rooms. Not something the Crown Prosecution would be concerned with.
It is interesting that we both use the same alphabet and yet assemble them into words that have different meanings applied. Some examples: cash resister – till, cookie – biscuit, elevator – lift, going drinking – gone down to the pub. You know what I mean!