Monday, March 31, 2008

you won't get any rest

Aaron saw this in Long Beach, CA. I suppose any non-US reader might argue those are totally appropriate. Why DO we call them restrooms?

what kind of dirt IS ok?

Dave in Michigan saw this at the pediatrician's office. He writes, "I guess they don't want to shock the parents of toddlers with a word like poopy."

starting early

Nick says this was made by a first grade sunday school class. The lesson may have been about diversity, or about avoiding the androids.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Valerie points out that "lean" sausage probably tastes much better than lean.

to remove or not to remove

What I love about this one is the ambiguity of what you are (not?) supposed to remove. The sign whose main text says to "not" move it? Thanks, Don, who saw this in Vienna VA.

Not so strict

This from Jeff in London. I like that an intensifier like "strictly" is used at all, and especially that it's qualified by the quotes. I would think "No Admittance" would have done it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

you know, "places"

Ok, so technically this is referencing the expression and not literal travel, but it's still weird. Paul got this fortune and writes, "I'm hoping that doesn't mean 'to a dumpster to try to find lunch' or 'rehab.'"

not ALL others...

I wonder what alternative definition of "towed" they are working with. Thanks, Kelly.

it's emergency room's nickname

A says, "I'd worry that Dr. Nick from the Simpsons would try to cut out my liver bones..."

"please say"

Julian took this one at a Massachusetts polling place (yeah, I'm about 6 weeks behind). I wonder how many people walked up to the table and said "your street, your house number, your name". I mean, it told you to "say" that...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Our choice

Our choice
Originally uploaded by mirthmobile
yeah, you know, "people". That's us.

What you might not glean from this photo is that the little cleaning company is encouraging you to buy local. By that I assume that you wouldn't call a cleaning company on the other side of the border if you wanted your rugs cleaned.

geeez... "people"

un-ladylike, in spanish

Laura translates this sign: We are "renting" a "room" for a "lady". I agree with her assessment: sinister.

really sarcastic about negative statements

We've seen sarcastic "no" and "not" before, but what I like about this one is that EVERY negative word is in quotation marks. It's like it's really a positive place, except for all the prohibitions. Thanks, David.

we "love" the earth

Evidently these copy writers have seen the landfills that are FULL OF TOOTHPICKS! Thanks, Rebekah.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

not actually upstairs

This from Ade, who suspects the "upstairs" is the dingy room in the basement.

the people settled

This photo from Ashley reads: Welcome to Bryant "the people's choice."
Really, some people chose to live in Bryant, Arkansas, ostensibly.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

well, not ALL destinations

evidently it also may not save you time, and the "Chicago Bus Station" is one of those "destinations"... Thanks, Jim.

how much can YOU bare?

Ok, the "Jesus" thing is getting a little old, but the spelling error on this (or IS IT an error) is really too much. For more crummy church signs, see the relevant blog. Thanks, Lindsay.

"sushi chef"

Ken saw this in Chicago. I guess it's ok to be any kind of chef, or not a chef at all. As long as you have experience.

relational hierarchy

I've gotten similar cards to this (or maybe the same one) before. This one is from Liz, the other submitter who I forget her name got it form a mother-in-law. It must be like a passive aggressive way of saying, "just because you married my son doesn't make you REAL family."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

typical video store service

thanks to Brian from Toronto for the photo and title. I think we all know what they mean by "customer service": a person who ignores people for a while before scoffing their choice of movie and taking forever to complete a transaction.

also "great and powerful oz"

This one, submitted by Jeremy in Oklahoma, is a bit hard to read. It says "expect a miracle 'God' is waiting for YOU. Praise Fellowship (etc)". I don't know what kind of miracle they are expecting or if God is actually waiting, or really just the pastor. Their punctuation: less than miraculous.


Cindy says this is a nice restaurant. However, they have one or more of the following: 1) imitation crab meat 2) decorative crab statues 3) an STI.

note "to dogs"

Jason notes that judging by the number of "accidents" on the porch, either the dogs are taking the quotes to mean "some pooping is OK" or, you know, Dogs can't read.

Monday, March 24, 2008

loiterers, this means you

I guess you don't have to have dinner or be invited in order to tip your server. Thanks, Denise and Julia.

mixed messages

Devin writes that this was written on some cardboard taped over a freezer door at a grocery store in San Francisco. What I like about this one is that the quotation marks are in different places depending on the language. It also seems that the spanish directions are a bit more detailed.


Josh explains that this diner is pretty popular. Maybe you'll get towed, maybe not.


This from Cathleen in Clearwater, FL. I'm guessing these are appropriate, but why would you say so about your own motel?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

quotes as parentheses?

I guess the pharmacy opens whenever the pharmacist shows up. Thanks, Kimberly.

"press" my button

Keith saw this in the bathroom of a sushi place in silver spring, MD. I wish we could see this alleged knob, because why would you think to turn a pushing lock? And are these words code for something else?

I love the "west"

Nick saw this at a place called Big Nose Kate's in Tombstone, AZ. He calls it an "ungodly tourist trap" which might explain why it's not actually a cowboy bar. I am uncertain about whether or not it actually is in the west, though. Or what the definition of "saloon" is that it might not fit.

arms? nose?

Submitter Ali suggests the employees are robots.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

cheesesteak with hanging quotations

Plenty of people seem to want to point out that they are not, in fact, in Philly. What makes this one special is the extra set of closed quotes. Perhaps it also doesn't have much to do with cheese or steak? Thanks, Erin.


Jim saw this one. Evidently this place has coffee that may or may not be classic, and they might not be proud of it.

someone may have won

Susanna and Kelsey go to a highschool where approximately 3 people "won" something. What exactly it is they won-ish, I'm not sure.

papers "will be" stopped

Ian saw this in the the canteen of a place he worked in Wiltshire, England. I like the mystery of this one: how can you stop papers? Why is it a big deal if they are removed? Maybe you can't and it isn't, hence the quotation marks. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, paper security is minor.

Friday, March 21, 2008

visit the ol' "drop & collect"

In South Africa, where Dean took this picture, "drop & collect" may be a vernacular type of laundromat, but maybe they want to qualify that you shouldn't put your laundry on the floor.

no checking at all

Those are actually the receptionists' nicknames. Thanks, Emily.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

something like things

This from the Safeway where Tim works. I don't know how something can only kind of be a "thing". Maybe they don't need to be done daily REALLY. I also have no idea what it means for an employee to receive a "no" or to have a huddle. So maybe they really aren't things.

or "office"

I must admit, the best part of this one is that it's a bidet on the side of the road. I mean, really? A bidet? And I like that they specify that the previous owner was careful. Thanks, Paul.

ha. ha.

Ok, if these quotes indicate sarcastic (rather than authentic) laughter, they are right on. But it's still amusing, as is the awkward syntax. Thanks, Claire.

made from old jalapenos

this sign has a lot of weird formatting choices. I wonder what is really in the sauce? Thanks, Andrew.

Tom Cruise does it?

I really don't know what this bumper sticker, spotted by Emilie in Palo Alto, CA, is trying to say. But maybe it means you won't learn the outcome for months.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"no questions asked"

Paul bought this tea ball for $3 (that is one of those things that holds and steeps loose tea). Evidently if you return the item, they may ask you a FEW questions. Perhaps like "can I help you?"

I'd like some "ordinary" corn, please.

I guess some people were calling this popcorn "ordinary". I guess it isn't. Thanks, Shannon.

A "Book" - you've heard of those?

Co-worker Dave downloaded a white-paper for some inspirational reading. So are all of those quoted segments titles within the title?

I guess it's really:
Excellence for All You Idiots: A Book (you've heard of those haven't you?) for Androids, Working in a Gary Gygax Universe in 2008.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"airport rage"

Actually, I truly hope that "airport rage" is not an acceptable quotation-free term. But it's also funny because 1: federal law dictates your emotions? 2: They must be predicting rage to post a sign. Thanks, Ariel.

it's only a nickname

Yeah, yeah, apologists, it's a slogan. But maybe they mean to imply that they are not specialists at getting traffic tickets. Thanks, Holly.


Amy sent in this same sign a few months ago, and writes back to demonstrate that the quotes have been removed. While I don't consider the goal of this blog eradicating confusing usage (rather, we like to have fun with it) it's pretty funny when people change. Thanks for the update, Amy.