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Double Meanings

Let’s dissect the phrase “Tyre Pressure Monitor”.

A tyre is a ring of rubber around a wheel. These days, they’re pneumatic, which means they’re filled with air to keep them inflated. It’s sometimes spelled “tire”, which means “to become tired” or “to make tired”. Also, Tyre was a city in Persia.

Pressure is, physically, force per area. Metaphorically, it’s like stress. Maybe you’re under a lot of pressure at work, at home, or in a relationship. When the pressure’s on, that’s when things get tough.

A monitor keeps track of something – in this case, tyre pressure. But it can also be a display, like your computer monitor. Or even an animal – the monitor lizard is a huge reptile.

So if we put all these together, what do we get? A stressed Persian lizard? It’s an interesting idea, but sadly the tyre pressure monitoring system is something far more mundane (though perhaps also far more useful). It measure the pressure inside your tyres, so that it can tell if they’re overinflated or not inflated enough. If the pressure’s not in the right range, the TPMS will alert you with an alarm, so you can take steps and fix the pressure.

Now, that might seem unnecessary – after all, you could just check the pressure yourself. But the truth is, you’ve got other stuff going on in your life. Stuff that puts pressure on you. Whether it’s the emails on your computer monitor, or coworkers you have to monitor who can keep slacking off, life gets busy and the sheer number of tasks you have is bound to tire you out. So having a TPMS takes the pressure off you, letting you monitor the more important things you have going on, so you can let the system take care of your tyres.

 
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