Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Preoptimization in real life.

So yesterday I went down to my local Subway (we actually have 2, but I don't go to one of them because it's a pain traffic-wise), and got in line. I had plenty of time to decide what I wanted; about two minutes since the small family in front of me was taking their time.

No sweat, even though I picked out what I wanted in about 10 seconds.

I spent the rest of the time thinking about how to phrase the sentence,

"I want a foot-long Subway Club on wheat."

But then I thought to myself, "If I say I want a foot long wheat Subway Club," she'll be able to get the sub bread before I finish speaking. Then I realized that, although that sentence is understandable, it is not very "correct." Would she understand immediately, or would it introduce a further delay in my sub making adventure? On the other hand, even if she did understand it immediately, would she even be able to react in time before I finished the sentence? Was the optimization even worth it?

I totally wasn't paying attention by then, so when she said "What do you want?" I kinda jerked in place and replied,

"Uh, a subway club. On wheat. Foot long wheat."

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