Today’s guest is Francesca, who takes us on a journey through odd mistakes on road signs. Enter Francesca:
Everyone loves a good mistake. From misinformation communicated by television presenters, utterly untrue stories printed by the tabloids, and spelling mistakes combined with punctuation errors to make even the smartest professors look stupid, we love to heckle, and heckle we do.
We’re subjected to this kind of brainless overlook now and again; some of it small and grin-worthy, the rest bigger and extremely entertaining. However mistakes involving road signs, an integral part of our everyday lives, seem to be appearing faster than the Jersey Shore autobiographies.
Road signs are notorious for spelling mistakes, and the people behind them are none the wiser unless there’s a complaint from an extremely bored motorist, or a media official raring to gloat. The importance of road signs is rarely underestimated, with new signage created every day to make sure drivers’ safety is paramount.
But sometimes these signs go wrong, and we’re not just talking a missing letter.
Swansea Council made a simple request to its translation team to create a dual language road sign, which read, “No entry for heavy goods vehicles – Residential site only.” However, with no one in the office at the time, an automatically generated “out of office” Welsh-reading reply was sent back to councils officials, who assumed it was the translation. Unaware of the actual translation, the council went ahead with the print, so that the Welsh part of the sign actually read “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any works to be translated”, leaving the lorry drivers more confused than Lady Gaga’s stylist!
There are plenty more examples of slip ups on road signs. Workmen who painted a “Keep Clear” message onto a road in Essex, obviously had spatial awareness issues as they didn’t leave enough room to actually finish the sign. We’ll all make sure we “Keep Clea” of that road!
One of the most ridiculous gaffes came from B3159 country road just outside Dorchester. It’s concise, clear, and free from spelling mistakes. Unfortunately, the sign is actually meant to read “Old Bullock Road” – this spelling mistake gives it a completely different meaning altogether!
So what more can we pull out of the signage gaffe bag? We’ve had the Welsh council not being able to read their own language, lazy builders with seemingly faulty measuring tapes, and signs that don’t make sense. Let’s klear the rest up!
A road sign outside a fire station in West Sussex was subjected to the upmost grammatical torture, as blundering contractors were made to paint over a sign informing drivers of gas works, reading “Keep Klear”. To make things worse, the fire station was informed through Facebook by a disgruntled passer-by!
And finally, do you, don’t you? Apostrophes can be confusing to say the least, especially if you skipped a couple of English classes like the creators of this sign. But drivers with a keen eye for grammar have been left fuming with the incompetence Hartlepool council after this bewildering message informing drivers of the availability of a parking bay. Who’s sign is it anyway?
This article was written by Francesca on behalf of The IS Group, who always make sure that the signs they produce are free from spelling mistakes!