Archive for the ‘Signage’ Category

Signtax and the Sloppy Joe apostrophe

October 29, 2019

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo, with punctuation:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page. And stay tuned for a Bizarro, rather than Hindu-nationalist, interpretation of the initials BJP.)

Two linked things: the syntax of the sign on the hot dog cart; and the potential ambiguity of Sloppy Joe’s on the sign, as a possessive in standard spelling or as a plural in a very popular non-standard spelling.

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At Boulders Beach

July 25, 2018

Signage alert today from Chris Hansen, with this item:

(#1)

The location, from Wikipedia:

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Following instructions

July 7, 2018

The instruction goes COVER ME or COVER YOURSELF. What are you supposed to do? Well, the verb cover, um, covers a lot of possibilities, so there’s plenty of room for play, amply illustrated in cartoons and other forms of visual/verbal play. Especially common are plays on COVER ME intended as having what I’ll call “gunfire cover” but understood as having some other sense, in particular what I’ll call “(general) placement cover“; and plays on COVER YOURSELF intended as having what I’ll call “corporal-modesty cover” (cover your nakedness) but understood as having (general) placement cover.

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Another signage ambiguity

May 1, 2018

Ambiguity is everywhere, but by eliminating useful redundancies in texts, telegraphic registers — headlines, signage, instructional labels, graffiti, and so on — hugely increase the opportunities for unintended multiple meanings. As in this photo that just turned up in Facebook:

(1) N + N compound ‘area for pets (to use)’ OR an imperative, V + NPobj ‘pet the area’

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