Dictionaries are for everyone

I’m going to start keeping a dictionary by the front door. Let me explain; I have put up a simple ‘No soliciting’ sign so that Mrs S and I can work from home without unnecessary interruption. Necessary interruptions include delivery of ordered goods and cordially greeting those with an appointment. Unnecessary interruptions are canvassers for whatever purpose, door to door sales people and anyone who has not let me know they’re coming (Friends and family are exempt from this rule).

Yet still there are people who ring my doorbell to try and sell me stuff or worse, use emotional blackmail to try and wring twenty bucks a month direct from my bank account. I had one this afternoon who said; “Don’t get mad, I’m not soliciting.”
“Okay, what do you want? I am quite busy.” I stated, already knowing where this conversation was going.
“Can I just show you this leaflet for..”
“That’s soliciting. Good day.” I saw no benefit in prolonging this conversation with someone who seemed to have failed basic High School English. So I closed the door and locked it firmly behind me, not forgetting to loudly affix the safety chain.

Honestly, what is it with some people? Can they not understand simple written English?

Pronunciation: /səˈlɪsɪt/
VERB (solicits, soliciting, solicited)

1 [WITH OBJECT] Ask for or try to obtain (something) from someone:
he called a meeting to solicit their views
[NO OBJECT]: don’t solicit for money
More example sentences Synonyms
2 Ask (someone) for something:
historians and critics are solicited for opinions
3 [NO OBJECT] Accost someone and offer one’s or someone else’s services as a prostitute:
(as noun soliciting) although prostitution was not itself an offence, soliciting was


Late Middle English: from Old French solliciter, from Latin sollicitare ‘agitate’, from sollicitus ‘anxious’, from sollus ‘entire’ + citus (past participle of ciere ‘set in motion’).

General usage:
I solicit, am soliciting, have solicited
You solicit, are soliciting, have solicited
He solicits, is soliciting, has solicited
She solicits, is soliciting, has solicited
They solicit, are soliciting, have solicited

In short, ‘no soliciting’ can thus be defined as “Don’t ring my doorbell to try and sell me something I don’t want, or otherwise waste my time. Got that, bozo?”

Why the dictionary? Oh that’s not to explain anything, that’s to hit them with if they won’t go away.

4 thoughts on “Dictionaries are for everyone”

  1. One of the first things I got for our house was a ‘No Soliciting’ sign for the front door. It hasn’t seemed to matter yet.

    I lost count of how many times I’ve opened the door, they go into their pitch, and I just point at the sign and close the door.

    No, I don’t think they know what it means. And if they do they just don’t care.


  2. Where I am, I don’t even have an address, and I’m off the beaten track, so thankfully I don’t get hawkers or canvassers knocking on my door. The last one was doing a census. That was about six years ago.

    What I do get, however, is phone calls. Mostly to the landline, which I never answer anymore because I only use it for internet, and everyone I know has my mobile number. I only use my mobile for calls. However, the past few years, they’ve started calling my mobile too, which is a real pain. It’s ok if they call from a landline in Athens or Thessaloniki, because I know that unless I’ve ordered something, I’m not going to get calls from those places, so I just don’t answer. But now they’re getting sneaky, and calling from mobile numbers. And I always answer mobile calls, even if the number isn’t in my database.

    I resent the intrusion. And I never buy the insurance or whatever they’re trying to flog.


    1. What pisses me off is having to tear yourself away from your desk where you’re doing useful work and go down to the front door for every snake oil salesman who passes down the street. I’ve got better things to do with my time.


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