"Hello madam, I’m calling from Wonderful Kitchens because we’re having a promotion in your area."
"I don’t need a kitchen, thanks."
"That’s fine, may I ask how old your kitchen is?"
"About six years old."
"And may I ask whether it’s in a good state?"
"Not really, it’s a bit tattered."
Silence.
"Thank you very much for your time madam, goodbye."
Amazing. He didn’t even start to insist! I hang up and ask: "Is "tattered" the right word? I think I meant "battered". Or "tatty"."
My colleagues agree that "tattered" is a word, but that it’s not appropriate to describe a kitchen, that it would be used for something you can rip. But anyway, I got rid of the caller in less than the 20 minutes it usually takes me. Could "tattered" be a talismanic word against telesales people? Could it be garlic to these Draculas?
No such luck. Five minutes later, someone else calls back to offer to refresh my tattered kitchen. It takes me 20 minutes to get rid of her.