Signs seen around town
On a bathroom door:
Toilet out of order. Please use floor below.
In a laundromat:
machines: please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.
In a London department store: Bargain basement upstairs
In an office:
Would the person who took the step ladder
yesterday please bring it back, or further steps will be taken.
In an office:
After tea break, staff should empty the teapot and stand upside-down
on the draining board.
Outside a second-hand shop: We exchange anything—bicycles,
washing machines, etc. Why not bring your wife along and get a wonderful
Notice in a health food shop window:
Closed due to illness.
Spotted in a safari park:
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR
Seen during a conference:
For anyone who has
children and doesn’t know it, there is a day care on the first
Notice in a farmer’s field:
The farmer allows
walkers to cross the
field for free, but the bull charges.
Message on a leaflet:
If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons.
On a repair shop door:
We can repair anything. (Knock hard. Door bell
out of order.)
New vocabulary for the workplace and beyond
• BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why
a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
• ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb
success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working
• MOUSE POTATO: The online, wired generation’s answer
to the couch potato.
• SITCOMS: Single Income, Two Children,
Oppressive Mortgage. What Yuppies get into when they have children
and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.
• SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered
useless because magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
• IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are
annoying but that you find yourself unable to stop watching.
• GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly
the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip
malls, and subdivisions.
• PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking an electronic
device to get it to
• WOOFS: Well-Off Older Folks.