Illogical English #5

Sometimes it’s hard to understand why words are made this way…

When goods are loaded onto a ship, they are called cargo.

When goods are loaded onto a car (or truck), they are called a shipment.

Sometimes shipment and cargo are interchangeable, though. The real difference is that goods are called cargo ONLY during the transportation, whereas a shipment is called so before, during and after transportation.

By the way, the word goods is often misused by Japanese speakers of English. We use the word goods only for merchandise, and/or things for transportation. So, for example, things in your home, office or classroom are not goods – unless they are to be sold.

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