Friday Reflection: When sign language fails

What’s makes me grumpy? Poor SIGN LANGUAGE.

Not the clever gesticulations of the person standing next to the premier, but street signs and other signs you see that are badly worded or with clumsy line breaks. Some are merely puzzles, others leave you wondering whether anyone has read them before printing.

Here is one:

ROAD

UNSUITABLE

FOR CYCLISTS

AHEAD

What? Surely they meant:

ROAD AHEAD

UNSUITABLE

FOR CYCLISTS

And there is this one at the hospital:

VISITORS ARE STRICTLY LIMITED

TO 1 VISITOR PER DAY

Poor lonely patients! But visitors can have a visitor a day?!

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Driving up the steep road from the underground loading docks at a shopping centre, there is this sign at exit to the road:

BEWARE OF PEDESTRIANS

Yep, they are fierce down there; carry clubs and everything! Well, we know what they mean I suppose.

And this one, at my local GP:

FACE MASKS MUST

BE WORN WITHIN

THE SURGERY

BUILDING

INCLUDING THE

BACK DECK UNDER

10 YRS NOT

INCLUDED

Oh, dear! Clearly, they are not typographers.

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Another signage habit that adds to my grumpiness is the practice of putting timed ‘CLEARWAY’ signs right where there are ‘NO STOPPING’ signs. What? Why is this? Where there are NO STOPPING signs, the road is already a clearway!

To show that I am not grumpy all the time, I want to applaud one sign that is clear, concise and imperative. You know that it must be obeyed. I hope never to be confronted with this one:

WRONG WAY

GO BACK

Thanks for reading. I feel better now …

Read more: The biggest danger on our roads

Do you have some ridiculous signs to share? What are the worst ones you’ve seen? Have your say in the comments section below.

Friday Reflection is your chance to write on any topic that stirs you. Simply send your contribution to [email protected] and put Friday Reflection in the subject field. Published authors will receive a $20 Prezzee digital gift card that can be spent at more than 120 retail outlets.

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