British signs seem keen on overstating (or overlooking) the obvious. Three examples follow.
Sign in front of a gate, and attached to a vertical pole which in turn runs down into a concrete block on the ground:
DO NOT OBSTRUCT
Unhappily, the sign itself obstructs the gate.
Two redundancies on a vending machine:
NO COPPER COINS
Only accepts 5ps 10ps 20p 50p 1£
IF USE CURRECT CHANGE LIGHT IS ON USE ONLY 20p 10p OR 5p TO EXACT AMOUNT: FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN LOSS OF MONEY.
THIS NOTICE RELATES TO A RISK
PLEASE CONSIDER CAREFULLY
College believes these lifts as regularly
inspected and tested to be safe for use.
However due to their age their reliability
cannot be guaranteed.
Any use made of them outside the hours of
Monday-Friday 8.00am to 4.30pm
would be at the risk of entrapment in the
lift cage if a breakdown occurred and
a long period awaiting release might
N.B. Take care NOT to overload the lift.
You had better believe that we did NOT use that lift!
I have to say that I feel that the signs are quite reasonably drawing attention to possible problem areas, for the convenience of the public.
I would be surprised to learn that, in the USA, they are more casual about such things.
Well, I have to agree with you, Richard. However, there is definitely a greater length to signs in England. While you might say, "Mind the gap," we might say "Caution!" Look at that one on the elevator in the dorm as an example! The differences are just cultural, I imagine.
We also found it rather curious that often two different signs (as with the vending machine) often depicted the very same message. They just want to be sure that you get it!
My favorite topic relating to British signs is the lack of punctuation or delineation. This often leads to hilarious messages such as
(is it a birth-control campaign?)
Another one I like is HEAVY PLANT CROSSING. I expected to see someone carrying a heavy plant across the road.
Of course this is all cultural, and the Americans are guilty of deletions; they often leave out apostrophes. For example, Devil's Rest is DEVILS REST, which no doubt makes the angels happy.
This is what we like, new members jumping in with both feet and posting a whole string of entries. Welcome to the board Mark.
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