Any idea what this is?
It’s a, you know, one of those pipe unblocking things. The problem is, there are liquid pipe unblocking things and sprays and plungers. There doesn’t seem to be a specific name for one of these things in English.
Here you have a valiant Chinese attempt at putting this product description into English. And well, it is at least, um… exquisite!!
Even their attempt doesn’t quite do justice to describing this bendy, tubular, stick-it-up-the-pipe thingy.
Let’s look at why not>
There are at least 15 different Chinese words which translate into English as ‘exquisite’.
‘Exquisite’ in English expresses extreme beauty and delicacy. A handpainted ceramic vase with incredible detail and quality could well be described as exquisite, but not something mass-produced in plastic for sticking up your water pipe to remove a blockage (to put it politely!).
As water is almost certainly what normally flows through the pipe you’re trying to unblock, it’s not really necessary in the description, but hey, at least it fits in the description without making you say, “What??”.
Unless your national supply infrastructure is experiencing a serious block, you needn’t worry about the pipeline. You see, a pipeline is a long tube for transporting things like oil or gas over a long distance – not the typical installation you have to worry about in your house, I hope!!
While the concept of clearing solids from liquid is indeed included in the idea of ‘dredging’ it more specifically relates to clearing the bed of a harbour, river, or other area of water by pulling out mud, weeds, and rubbish with a special boat called a dredger.
Probably the strangest word in the description, (if you’re not Chinese) the word ‘facility’ refers to the buildings, equipment and services provided for a particular purpose. This is a plastic tube with metal turned around it at one end to clean your pipes – ‘tool’ would a more accurate word to use.
So there we go, a courageous attempt to define this tool, and it does approximate, somewhat poetically its intended use.
So, how do we describe this product in English? Well, here’s a description for one of these things I found on Ebay: Drain Unblocker Cleaner Waste Pipe Kitchen Plunger Sink Snake Toilet Rod You know what, I think I’ll use the Chinese translation next time I need to unblock my pipes!!