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Ambiguous Signs

picture of Ziggy cartoon

In previous posts I've highlighted some of the problems caused by unclear signs. On the one hand, a sign might not give you a clear message of what you're supposed to do, and so you do the wrong thing or nothing when you actually should. On the other hand, you can get so amused at the sign that you risk being in an accident. I hope are reading this in a place where you can think about what the sign wants you to do and can safely be amused at today's signs.

This sign has several issues — the crazy math and the ambiguity of "some stuff."

picture of funny sign

Any specificity at all would definitely be helpful with this next sign — like anyone would have the signs memorized from previous visits?!

picture of funny sign

Do you think it would be fair if the driver of the car in the picture below were ticketed?

picture of funny sign

A reader in France saw this sign and sent the picture to me.

picture of funny sign

The French reads: "Deadly accident: more fear than harm!" And so....?

The next sign might just as well be ambiguous instead of offering emergency assistance over 100 miles away.

picture of funny sign

I think I know what the next sign means, but it could actually be taken several different ways.

picture of funny sign

Here's an interesting combination that makes for some cryptical signage in Boston.

picture of funny sign

This next one is mainly for you grammarians out there.

picture of funny sign

Via Flickr

Interjection, I'm so adjective I verb nouns, conjunction I verb pronouns adverb preposition noun.

Drive carefully! Who knows what all could be ahead!

picture of funny sign

I wonder how long the guy in this picture has been obeying the sign.

picture of funny sign

Who knows what the next sign means?! No handicapped people allowed? No wheelchairs allowed? No handicap access? Don't become handicapped?

picture of funny sign

I'll end this post with two signs that are anything but ambiguous. The first one is from an airport in India. Can you think of anything they have not included in their list of forbidden carry-on items?

picture of funny sign

And this one last sign.

picture of funny sign

I hope you all have a great week. This is our last week of classes before the annual Bible Conference on campus. After that, five more weeks of classes, exam week, and this semester will be history. Amazing!


"We see the sins of others best when they're the sins we commit." — Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=

How do you get off a non-stop flight?

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16 Comments on “Ambiguous Signs”

  1. #1 Garrison Parrish
    on Mar 14th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I love #15 on the Indian baggage sign.

    Who would’ve thought that possible? Ha! Thanks for the laugh!

    Rob adds: De rien, GuΓ©rison. I wonder if just a little collapsable catapult would be ok…. πŸ™‚

  2. #2 Tim
    on Mar 14th, 2011 at 9:26 am

    At the airport in India, I understand why one mustn’t take along hand grenades, brass knuckles, and portable power saws, but I never go anywhere without #84. What if I were to suddenly have a heat stroke on the plane?

    Rob adds: Isn’t that a great misspelling?! Leave it to an English teacher to catch that. πŸ˜€

  3. #3 Ray
    on Mar 14th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Bible – check
    Creationist magazines – check
    machine shop magazines – check
    peanut butter – check
    strawberry jam – check
    homemade bread – check
    bear traps – check
    #27 – I guess I’ll have to abide by that one…

    Rob adds: Could the Bible be classified as a religious knife? Hebrews calls it a double-edged sword….

  4. #4 Laura LaRocco
    on Mar 14th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I guess they really don’t want razor blades as they are listed twice… #7 and #26!

    Rob adds: I guess it’s in case people don’t notice it the first time through.

  5. #5 Jason
    on Mar 14th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Yet another comment on the Indian sign: πŸ™‚

    I loved how #3 – “Scissors” and #63 – “Metal Scissors with Pointed Tips” were listed as separate items… and how apparently “Any Type of Powder” (18) didn’t cover Gun Powder (50) or Chilly Powder (84).

    I think my favorite was #77 – Cattle Prods. I kinda want to try bringing a cattle prod in my carry-on here in the states just to see what happens.

    Rob adds: I would think cattle prods would not be allowed anywhere in a country where cows are all “holy cows.”

  6. #6 Diane Heeney
    on Mar 14th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    That settles it…I’m not going to India if I can’t bring my hand grenades and my bull whip. πŸ˜‰

    Rob adds: Good for you, Diane! You’ve gotta draw the line somewhere! πŸ˜€

  7. #7 Michael
    on Mar 14th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    What is “Disabling Grass”? #82 Or is it just “Grass”?

    Rob adds: Your guess is as good as mine, Michael. I’d be cleared for boarding in either case.

  8. #8 Caroline
    on Mar 14th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    i love the sign “Watch this space”. makes me want to put up a sign something like that and see what happens. =) i could call it a social experiment!

    Rob adds: When my dad was a teenager, he loved to stand on Main Street downtown and stare into the air, just to see how many people he would stop to join him. After he assembled a crowd, he’d walk away. I wonder where I got my bizarre sense of humor….

  9. #9 Sarah
    on Mar 15th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I tried to smuggle my folding scissors onto a plane once (wanted to do some cross stitch). They confiscated them, but let me take my long cross-stitch needle along. ???

    Another time, some plastercine in a ‘build a dinosaur’ kit my friend had purchased was taken. I guess it looked too much like plastic explosive…

    Rob adds: I’m glad you didn’t post your last name … you might end up on the “no fly list” with that kind of track history. πŸ˜€

  10. #10 A.H.
    on Mar 15th, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    #17 Pickles and Spices???

    Rob adds: Who knows what they could contain?! You can never be too careful … everyone might end up in a real pickle otherwise.

  11. #11 Carrie
    on Mar 16th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Any airline that dissallows knitting needles and pickles will have to do without my loyal patronage! That is too funny. I also love the “stupidity is not a handicap” sign.

    Rob adds: Thanks, Carrie! It’s like saying “Sic’em” to a dog. πŸ˜€

  12. #12 Sam
    on Mar 17th, 2011 at 7:55 am

    As for the pickles, No big Dill!

    Rob adds: I relish your comment, Sam.

  13. #13 Ray
    on Mar 18th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    the “drive carefully” sign has the ball and clubhouse, but is missing the golf club… maybe the club was left in the clubhouse. Sadly, we’ll never know.

    Rob adds: It may be best that we never know what happened to that golf club….

  14. #14 Cody Quam
    on Mar 19th, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I do belive they’ve forgotten, cannons, cannon balls, potato cannons, atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, marshmallow guns, potato guns, rubber band guns, fish hooks, harpoons, and harpoon guns, rofl. And i love how the list could’ve been way shorter since a number of the items could be obviously implied, such as the “powder of any kind” and “chilly powder” and the multiple kinds of knives lol.

    Rob adds: They needed you on their team to think of items they should have included. πŸ™‚

  15. #15 Connel
    on Mar 23rd, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Cody I’m surprised! you ususally arent one to miss things, but I fear you missed saftey pins, broken glass, nuclear bombs, lead pipes, large shapened sticks……..lol the list goes on πŸ˜‰ so where you been the last week? I havent seen you at all, add me on skype if you wanna chat

  16. #16 Alex
    on Mar 29th, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Haha.. I like the “emergency… 174km ahead”. πŸ™‚