Archive for the ‘Pictographs’ Category


August 3, 2023

From Steven Levine, reporting from Amsterdam, on Facebook this morning:

If you have time to learn only one Dutch word, I’d say wildplassen makes an excellent candidate.

(#1) Du wildplassen ‘wild pissing’, with Du wild in the sense ‘free, loose’ (yes, it also has the sense ‘savage, fierce’, and that adds to the excellence of the signage)


Pictographs for dogs

April 28, 2021

A Mark Stivers cartoon from 4/20/19 (first encountered in the Funny Times for May 2021):


Dogs also can’t interpret pictographs, certainly not such abstract ones as the slash of prohibition, the NO symbol (seen here in a non-standard orientation and missing part of its conventional accompaniments). It’s doubtful, in fact, that they can recognize dog pictographs, highly stylized representations of a dog — and incredibly doubtful that they can recognize a pictograph of a dog taking a poop, and understand that a prohibition against dogs pooping applies to them. In fact, it’s beyond doubtful that even if they recognize the sign above as a prohibition against dogs pooping, they understand that the sign is locationally deictic, applying not just to the spot where the sign is planted, but to some contextually (and socioculturally) determined area around the sign — in this case, applying to the whole strip of lawn on this side of the fence (but not to any larger area).