There is this short article in the English section of today’s Ming Pao:
|Thinking about English﹕Paid Area||Publishing Date: 2010/4/26|
【明報專訊】Does anyone know of any other place in the world which uses the description “paid area”? I think this is Hong Kong English, of which MTR English is a distinct sub-species.
by John Wotherspoon
Is this Hong Kong English, and hence problematic?
“Paid area” is acceptable. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paid_area)
Noun phrases having a similar contruction are “married quarters” (quarters for married staff), and “disabled toilet” (toilet for disabled people). If we give it a bit of time, we’ll be able to find many other similar examples. In fact, we use a lot of shorthand expressions in daily life. Otherwise our speech will be unnecessarily cumbersome.
Even if this is Hong Kong English, if it serves a particular purpose and context, it should be accepted. I am sure there are many expressions in each of the major English-speaking countries which are incomprehensible to people in other English-speaking countries. Is that a ‘problem’?
Finally, just treat ‘paid area’ as a compound noun, that is, a combination of two words that produce a noun with a special meaning.