"Did I Read That Sign Right?" by Neal Murphy

July 1, 2022 - A friend recently sent me some examples of signs of various natures whose authors apparently did not read them after completion. I am constantly amazed at the apparent lack of the proper use of the basics of the English language by our current generation. The following examples are not mine, but I would like to pass them along for your amusement:

  • Sign in an office building rest room: “Toilet Out of Order. Please Use Floor Below.”
  • Sign in a Laundromat: “Automatic Washing Machines: Please Remove All Your Clothes When the Light Goes Out.”
  • Sign in a London department store: “Bargain Basement Upstairs.”
  • Sign in an office: “Would the Person Who Took the Step Ladder Yesterday Please Bring It Back or Further Steps Will Be Taken.”
  • Sign in another office: “After Tea Break Staff Should Empty the Teapot and Stand Upside Down on the Draining Board.”
  • Sign on a second-hand shop: “We Exchange Anything – Bicycles, Washing Machines, Etc. Why Not Bring Your Wife Along and Get a Wonderful Bargain?”
  • Sign in a health food shop window: “Closed Due to Illness.”
  • Sign in a safari park: “Elephants Please Stay in Your Car.”
  • Sign on door of conference room: “For Anyone Who Has Children and Doesn’t Know It, There is a Day Care on the 1st Floor.”
  • Sign posted in a farmer’s field: “The Farmer Allows Walkers to Cross the Field for Free, But the Bull Charges.”
  • Message on a leaflet: “If you Cannot Read, This Leaflet will Tell You How to Get Lessons.”
  • Sign on a repair shop door: “We Can Repair Anything. (Please Knock Hard on the Door – the Bell Doesn’t Work).

It appears that proofreading is a dying art, based upon the following headlines found in various newspapers:

  • “Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter”
  • “Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says” (Really?  Ya think?)
  • “Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers” (Now that’s taking things a bit far!)
  • “Panda Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over” (What a nice guy!)
  • “Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant” (Let’s see if that works any better than a fair trial.)
  • “War Dims Hope for Peace” (I can see where it might have that effect!)
  • “If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile” (Are you sure?)
  • “Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures (Who would have thought!)
  • “Enfield Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide” (They may be on to something.)
  • “Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges” (You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?)
  • “Man Struck by Lightning; Faces Battery Charge” (He probably IS the battery charge.)
  • “New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group” (Weren’t they fat enough?)
  • “Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft” (That’s what he gets for eating all those beans.)
  • “Kids Make Nutritious Snacks” (Do they taste like chicken?)
  • “Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half” (Chainsaw Massacre all over again.)
  • “Hospitals Are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors” (Boy, are they tall doctors.)
  • “Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead” (Did I read that right?)

Now that you’ve read through all these items, I trust that you have smiled at least once. We all need a good laugh at least once a day!