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links for 2008-06-09

1 Comment so far

  1. Thanks for the links Dan. 🙂

    Incidentally, and I don’t know if it’s up your street, but I’ve always wondered about the use of esoteric/archaic language in emergency, warning, and other vital information signs.

    I would have thought that if you have only moments in which to make a decision that the last thing you need is the hurdle of incomprehension when scanning signage.

    Do not alight here.
    Do not disembark here.
    In event of emergency go to the nearest muster station.
    No admittance (with deep water sign on a fence around a small pond in woodland supposedly intended to warn children).

    Is the use of specialised language an ‘architecture of control’? Is it intended to communicate with more responsible staff and cognoscenti whilst remaining discreet from consideration or concern by the uneducated child or layman? Even when the latter group appears more in need of readily comprehensible signage and language?

    It is possible that what I think are esoteric or archaic words are actually words with similar spellings and meanings in other languages, and easily grasped by non-English speakers, e.g. German, French, Dutch, Welsh, etc. I have a doubt though… 😉
    ‘Muster’? What the heck does that mean?

    Somewhat related are speed cameras that use archaic icons, e.g. the bellows camera that disappeared from households over fifty years ago. Those older citizens who would otherwise complain to their MPs are reassured by a familiar symbol. Irresponsible boy racers don’t have a clue what the sign is and whizz by oblivious to the fines their parents will soon be paying.

    PS Is the absence of a “Letters to the Blogger” page a missing feature in Blogs these days? Somewhere, where readers can submit things that may be relevant to the blog, but not to a specific article?

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