A sign in the University of Chicago Bookstore:
— ‘Umbrellas are non-refundable.’
I can see why the Bookstore chose this phrasing. It’s not just shorter, it’s more polite, less in-your-face than the alternatives:
— ‘If you buy an umbrella here, you can’t get a refund for it.’
— ‘We won’t refund your money for an umbrella bought here.’
If I were running the Bookstore, I’d probably use the same sign they did, and I don’t mean to imply that the fate of humankind rests on the phrasing here. I only want to use the sign as an example of what we do when we thingify the world.
I hope the umbrella example helps to show what I mean by ‘thingify’. The sign is dealing with what is going on in the world, but converts all that into a single characteristic of a thing.