The Other I

October 20, 2013

Sign language in Scotland

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 4:08 pm

We have just returned from a wonderful week in Scotland.  I’ve been there many times before, and Peter knows it well from his years on the Edinburgh University faculty.

But I’d never noticed the signs before.  As we were driving along, I found myself laughing and wondering how they would go down in America.  Or even in neighbouring England.

A no-parking sign read:

“No parking on the zig-zag lines.  It’s both dangerous and selfish.”

Another sign warned:

“Delays due to maintenance.”

 It  was followed by what I thought at first was an admonition to the impatient driver but turned out to be the name of the town:

 “Rest and Be Thankful.”

Or what about a sign flashing across the motorway reading:

“Be a courteous driver.”

My favourite actually lured us inside a chocolate factory and shop:

 “Money won’t buy happiness.  But it will buy chocolate.” 



  1. One of my favourite Scottish road signs is “adverse camber”. I wonder what people whose first language isn’t English make of it.


    Comment by sanstorm — October 20, 2013 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

    • Your wondering about how people might understand “adverse camber” reminds me of the woman from England who was arrested in New York City because she’d stopped her car beneath a sign saying “no standing.” She thought it meant “no standing.” I never found out if she still had to pay the fine. English as a second language is a fascinating experience, isn’t it? (I say that as someone who speaks “American.”)


      Comment by Terry Sissons — October 20, 2013 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

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