Monday, 28 November 2011


So here's the latest box of tin foil we bought (yes, I know it's aluminium, not tin, but tin cans are made of steel, tin foil is made of aluminium, and silver paper isn't silver):

What caught my eye was this:

Improved thickness!  That must be good, eh?  It's improved!

But just what precisely is improved?  Well, the thickness, obviously.  But in what way?  Careful scrutiny of the box revealed no further clues. (Yes, yes, I know.  Anything to delay actually having to do any actual cooking, you see.)

Improvement presumably implies change. What changes could one make to foil thickness? I could think of four:
  1. thinner
  2. thicker
  3. more even thickness
  4. less even thickness (added simply for completeness)
But are any of these improvements? Thinner might mean less waste, but more fragile; thicker would then be more waste, less fragile.  More even thickness might be better if that made cooking times more predictable (I haven't a clue whether it does or not, I'm just hand-waving); then maybe less even thickness would make life more interesting by adding greater variability to the cooked result. 

On eventually opening the box and feeling the foil, it's definitely thicker than the previous batch.  So, that's an improvement because ... more waste?  And lo!  This box has 30m of foil, whereas the previous box of thinner, unimproved, product contained 40m of foil.

So the improvement is that I have to buy foil more often?  Well, sarcasm aside, presumably the implied improvement is that it's less fragile, that it is stronger.  But then, why not say so? Why not:

Or even:

Or if that doesn't have enough oomph, what about:

But ... improved thickness?

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