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

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Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
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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.

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!"


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!


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!


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 Just one problem - First Great Western have withdrawn all the off peak trains, so here's a magnificent advert for a product you can's make any use of.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!


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!


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"


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?


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


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


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 ...


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


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Websitemediasolution and a goldfish called Carl Johnson
Some other Articles
Back Tomorrow
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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