‘Look at the Size of That Thing.’ Colorado Sheriff Department’s Confusing Boulder Description is Ruling Social Media

Language is, in many respects, subjective, and adjectives in particular are always up for interpretation. A “short” haircut can mean something very different to a salongoer and their hairdresser; “simple” instructions for flatpack furniture clearly read differently to many retailers than they do folks tasked with assembling their bookcases or nesting tables. Descriptions of scale can be a challenge, specifically — which the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office in Telluride, Colorado has now learned the “hard” way after a tweet advising a road hazard went viral. (Don’t worry, the burns were “soft.”)

On Monday, a Twitter account for the sheriff’s office tweeted a helpful alert about a fallen boulder that had completely blocked the east-bound lane on Colorado’s Highway 145. But the description of said boulder is what took the Internet by storm.

“Large boulder the size of a small boulder is completely blocking east-bound lane Highway 145 mm78 at Silverpick Rd,” the tweet read. “Please use caution and watch for emergency vehicles in the area.”

Large boulder the size of a small boulder is completely blocking east-bound lane Highway 145 mm78 at Silverpick Rd. Please use caution and watch for emergency vehicles in the area. pic.twitter.com/EVMmDf0IJu

— San Miguel Sheriff (@SheriffAlert) January 27, 2020

People quickly jumped on the ingenious, if contradictory description of the rock that was simultaneously large and small. “I say we name it….wait for it. . . . . . . . . . . Biggie Smalls,” one account tweeted, and in this case it is fair to throw out even a superlative and say that’s the best response possible.

Small boulder the size of a large boulder is completely blocking east-bound lane Highway 145 mm78 at Silverpick Rd. Please use caution and watch for emergency vehicles in the area. pic.twitter.com/rZQGF0dyih

— dean (@DeanRed123) January 27, 2020

I say we name it….wait for it.
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Biggie Smalls.

— The Brofucius (@TheBrofucius) January 27, 2020

Did … did a self-conscious small boulder write this?

[email protected] (@TheGlare_TM) January 27, 2020

Large boulder the size of a small boulder's older brother, large boulder the size of a large boulder just showed up and said "what did you say about my obviously large boulder brother??!!??"… pic.twitter.com/aTRuukP2i0

— Amber🔥 (@amber_knott84) January 28, 2020

The sheriff’s office has not acknowledged the boulder’s viral fame and did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment, although it tweeted about the rock two more times Monday, offering updates into officials’ work to clear the highway lane with a snow plow.

Highway 145 mm78 at Silverpick Rd is now clear of the boulder that was blocking the east bound lane. Both lanes open to traffic.

— San Miguel Sheriff (@SheriffAlert) January 27, 2020

The Sheriff’s Office also helpfully gave us an estimation of how big a “large boulder the size of a small boulder” actually is. In a tweet, its dimensions and weight were given at “approximately 4ftx4ftx4ft (64 cubic ft)” and and “about 10,000lbs.”

As one Twitter user put it: “Wow, look at the size of that thing.”

wow, look at the sizes of that thing

— Adam M. Sachs (@AddySachs) January 27, 2020

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