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'Road liable to flooding' - correct English or not?

(12 Posts)
Roomfor2 Mon 07-Sep-09 13:13:15

It's a common road sign that really annoys me, but am I right in thinking that this is not good English?

I always understood 'liable' to be used in a similar way to 'likely' - so 'likely to flood, not likely to flooding... Or, if they must use flooding, then change it to 'prone to flooding' rather than liable?

Am I right to be be annoyed by it or should I let it go as a symptom of my own ignorance?? grin

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Mon 07-Sep-09 13:14:32

I think it's correct.

midnightexpress Mon 07-Sep-09 13:22:07

I don't know, but I've always been similarly annoyed by 'road liable to icing'. Mostly because I feel there is a joke lurking in there and I can't figure out what it is.

Katisha Mon 07-Sep-09 13:25:16

I always wonder what foreigners coming out of ferry ports make of those "ANY VEH" signs you get along motorways...

MrsBadger Mon 07-Sep-09 13:30:50


OED gives it as 'subject to' or 'likely to undergo' a process

and you would say 'Road subject to flooding' or 'Road likely to undergo flooding'.

'Road liable to icing' is just silly

but I do persistently refer to the Saturday-night competitive figure-skating chow as Strictly Come Icing.

Pyrocanthus Mon 07-Sep-09 18:17:57

Liable to flood, I think.

Yup, checked in Fowler.

Never seen 'liable to icing' - sounds like one of my daughter's cakes.

midnightexpress Mon 07-Sep-09 21:15:28

We live in Scotland, where many of the roads are, apparently, liable to icing. grin

Roomfor2 Tue 08-Sep-09 09:39:19

Pyrocanthus - that's what I thought. Glad it's not just me!

Pyrocanthus Tue 08-Sep-09 09:45:43

And where the houses are all made of gingerbread, midnightexpress.

cattj Tue 08-Sep-09 23:25:15

'road liable to icing UP'

That might just work. Still lame though.

Other suggestions, above, were better.

gagamama Wed 09-Sep-09 10:12:15

I don't think 'flooding' necessarily has to be a verb though, it can be a state as well can't it?

'I couldn't get to work because of the flooding'
'I couldn't get to work because of the flood'

I guess 'flooding' is a more general term for excess water, or several smaller floods.

[probably talking crap emoticon]

RustyBear Wed 09-Sep-09 10:17:50

But I think your first example is one of those where extra words are implied but not written ie 'can't get to work because of the flooding of the road'

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