Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Going Places?

The criteria for any site on the Net these days, I feel, is that it should be inclusive. I don’t mean by that, that it should have anything to do with including minorities, or women, or all those people who feel hard done by because they haven’t been included in the past (sorry to be so un-PC), but inclusive in the sense that the site goes beyond the coastline of the US of A.

So when I came across the Hotel Reservations site, I immediately checked to see if it included anything from Dunedin. It first gave me a choice of two places called Dunedin, the one I live in, and Dunedin in Florida, a place which I’ve come across before in my Net travels (see more about that in the next post). I clicked on Dunedin, NZ, (obviously) and found that it has two choices of places to stay: Corstorphine House, and Claremont House. Corstorphine House, rather curiously, has University of Otago printed alongside it, although to my understanding, Corstorphine House is quite some way from the University. But once you click on CH you find a considerable amount of detail – far more than you’d expect really. And excellent photographs.

Slightly annoyingly, you don’t always seem to be able to use your back and forwards buttons in relation to this site, which is why I had to start all over again to check out Claremont House. (A message keeps coming up that the page has expired.). Nevertheless when you do access Claremont House, the photography is good (lots of pictures in fact) and the information is more than adequate. Both pages included information about tourist spots, although a local might puzzle as to why Baldwin St is linked to Claremont House, when they’re not exactly in close proximity.

Irritatingly the Claremont House ad has the overused grammatical error: "comprises of." As Dr Grammar notes (more about him in another post): "Bill Walsh, author of Lapsing Into a Comma, says, "Nothing is ever 'comprised of' something.' To comprise means to 'contain or to embrace': The jury comprises seven women and five men.... Even when used correctly, in my humble opinion, comprise and constitute tend to sound stilted. Some form of is made up of sounds better in most cases" (123)

Apart from my grizzles – which aren’t really about the site itself – there are plenty of good answers to typical questions included, information about Road Trips, Cruises, ways to plan a trip, and the ability to read it all in Spanish (now one of the top languages of the world, apparently). Not everything translates, and strangely, in the Spanish version, Dunedin, NZ, throws up seven different hotels altogether to the English edition!

By the way, shouldn’t it be ‘Advanced Search’ throughout, rather than ‘Advance Search?’
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