A personal post from Graham Ellis
Lisa and Graham live in Melksham, Wiltshire, England

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Signwriting is dead. Long live the sign.

Have you noticed that there's a sign up telling you everything you must and must not, may and may not, can and cannot do? And there are so many signs up there that seem to have been put up without giving thought to who will be reading them, why, and what they'll get from them. Let's see some.

Do not sign the obvious I suppose that in some parts, people are in the habit of trying to run people over ... so there is a need for signs telling people to drive carefully. Oh come off it - when did you last go out and think "It's Tuesday - I'll drive dangerously!"


Brass step sign OK ... so there's a brass step. Is that telling me to be careful because there's a step (what does that material matter), or is the sign writer telling me that I need to be careful because it is brass. Perhaps he is proud that it is brass ... I don't know!


What is class B entry procedure? Situated right beside a public footpath, where I'm sure that everyone passing by except me knows what a "Class B Entry Procedure" is, so can draw a proper conclusion as to whether or not they're allowed. I was just left flummoxed!


Advertising impossible tickets from Melksham This looks like a good deal, advertised at our local station. Get an off peak ticket, and visit some great London attractions. Just one problem - First Great Western have withdrawn all the off peak trains, so here's a magnificent advert for a product you can's make any use of. Marketing own goal!


People may not park - just passengers Let's see ... people are not allowed to park in the station area as it has to be left for the public. Lemme see now - I thought that the public were people too. Just occasionally, the railways let the cat out of the bag and admit that they think that their customers are subhuman. Nice one, Tony!


Rules for site workers And while we're on site signs, this one has appeared on several sites in Melksham recently. One copy was behind a wire grill, so that you couldn't actually read it. And another was right at a temporary pinch-point where vehicles were passing close by ... you had take your life and limb in hand to read the sign ... and allow a good few minutes to do so too, including time to bend over and read the fine print at the bottom. Wouldn't it be more effective to simple say "We'll do this work carefully and considerately of everyone around, their businesses and the environment"


Businesses open as usual Another works sign. "Put it in print on a sign, and you make it true, even if it is a lie". The businesses round the back of these road works are clearly NOT open as usual. They're hard to get to at the moment, they're darker and noisier, they've had their power unexpecterdly cut off. But - hey - the sign says "open AS USUAL", so that's all right, isn't it?


No smoking sign The law requires no smoking signs. It was a good idea to have them everywhere for a few weeks when the smoking ban came in, but what purpose to the No Smoking signs that festoon everywhere fulfil these days? Is it more that simply being there to meet the legal requirement for the signs? We didn't have no smoking signs at Well House Manor until the ban came in ... and we had no problem with people smoking. But we've still had to put these signs up ... to tell people what they already know


Wibledon or Wimbeldon? OK - that's just plain careless, or amusing .. or they didn't have room for the "M"!


Otter Crossing Sign Let's finish with a couple of better examples ... things you might not have guessed at, and simple signs to boot which are clear and easily read ...


Beware buses and rocks ... even if you do wonder what buses have to do with falling rocks.

(written 2009-09-06)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z800 - Whimsy
  [4392] Interview conditions,and other instructions to staff - (2015-01-12)
  [4329] Does Santa Claus need a CRB check? - (2014-11-25)
  [4067] The woman, the television, the bullock and Darlington - (2013-04-23)
  [3922] Twerp - A person regarded as insignificant and contemptible - (2012-11-12)
  [3912] Sand to Arabia, Coals to Newcastle or Woodburners to Russia - (2012-11-04)
  [3868] How to make an ohno cake - (2012-09-23)
  [3851] Who is this? Picture Puzzle - (2012-08-28)
  [3738] Adoptive homes sought for abandoned babies - (2012-05-20)
  [3462] Hangers, luggage and possessions - (2011-10-01)
  [3369] Local Council leads bans on many activities - (2011-07-24)
  [3288] Random Questions ... - (2011-05-14)
  [3226] A busy morning for railway announcements - (2011-04-01)
  [3223] Answering at my earliest convenience - (2011-03-29)
  [3215] Solution looking for problem - (2011-03-27)
  [3203] Melksham Town Council announces ... - (2011-03-16)
  [3030] Liquorice allsorts and Dolly Mixtures - (2010-11-05)
  [2945] Last, final, etc - (2010-09-04)
  [2676] Changing Times - (2010-03-13)
  [2626] On Malachite Green - (2010-02-06)
  [2542] My armpit was like a zebra crossing - (2009-12-19)
  [2496] A better design of mouth - (2009-11-07)
  [2256] Is it Python past cheetah already? - (2009-06-24)
  [2251] Over a third of numbers start with the digit 1 - (2009-06-19)
  [2250] Bluegrass comes to Melksham - (2009-06-19)
  [2180] Patterns in numbers - room occupancy - (2009-05-13)
  [2157] From the 51773 family - (2009-05-04)
  [2152] My four feet! - (2009-05-01)
  [2143] Throughout the year, around the world - (2009-04-27)
  [2138] Ski bore ... train bore ... dog bore - (2009-04-24)
  [2131] Patterns in street names - (2009-04-17)
  [2127] Call in the professionals! - (2009-04-12)
  [2108] Funny Amusing, Funny Amazing and The Smarts - (2009-03-29)
  [2089] The Longest Day - Wednesday, 28th September - (2009-03-18)
  [2050] Why the Pony Tail? - (2009-02-21)
  [2028] Things people say on the phone - (2009-02-06)
  [2009] The Royal Mail Receipt - (2009-01-26)
  [1988] Melksham, Wiltshire. Town Crier Competition, 2009 - (2009-01-11)
  [1980] Michelle - (2009-01-06)
  [1977] Going round the block - (2009-01-04)
  [1952] Small Print - (2008-12-19)
  [1886] Keys to friendless churches - (2008-11-15)
  [1662] Westonbirt Arboretum Postcode - (2008-05-31)
  [1604] M25 / South Mimms Service Area - (2008-04-07)
  [1440] Useful command or messy screen? - (2007-11-21)
  [1241] If I say 'I am fine', what do I mean? - (2007-06-23)
  [1171] Traffic light control for horses - (2007-05-01)
  [1167] Leaning tower of Cheeser - (2007-04-28)
  [1075] I'm not the father - (2007-02-11)
  [973] Too much used to Skype - (2006-12-08)
  [892] A pattern in change - (2006-10-12)
  [850] Lighter moments - (2006-08-31)
  [807] Telling large from small - (2006-07-18)
  [784] Which way to turn? - (2006-06-28)
  [761] Great new inventions - (2006-06-14)
  [758] Very good for woodlice - (2006-06-12)
  [701] Minature Cyclists only - limited headroom - (2006-04-27)
  [689] The call of nature - (2006-04-18)
  [661] Dressed up for a phone call - (2006-03-29)
  [610] Need a hankie - (2006-02-16)
  [568] NB ''Aspiration'' - (2006-01-18)
  [547] Taking the dog for a walk - (2005-12-29)
  [520] Three life changing comments - (2005-12-07)
  [395] Making Orangutangs - (2005-07-28)
  [346] No Smoking Pubs - (2005-06-13)
  [331] 08:45 is a difficult time - (2005-05-31)
  [300] Dentist's Waiting Room Syndrome - (2005-05-04)
  [156] Signage - (2004-12-18)
  [151] Coffee Standards - (2004-12-14)
  [94] Special change - (2004-10-20)
  [69] John Toner - (2004-10-01)
  [44] Serious subject - (2004-09-10)
  [39] A Change is as good as a rest - (2004-09-05)
  [24] Impossible terms - (2004-08-22)


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Some other Articles
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Are you wanting to learn PHP?
Firefighting with Perl
Websitemediasolution and a goldfish called Carl Johnson
Signwriting is dead. Long live the sign.
Easing off in our 50s?
From Lymington by train - last of the slammers
Two days of demonstration scripts in Python
A first demonstration of OO, including polymorphism
Lymington, New Forest - some pictures
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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