Necessary Information

In colonial New England, the “necessary” was the room where you took care of necessary bodily functions — in other words, the toilet, restroom, lavatory, bathroom, latrine, powder room — pick your favorite term. (Off-topic but interesting: Why are there so many words for the same place?) The people in charge of these facilities appear to believe that they have to supply information to those who use them, as you see in this sign, which states what I would have thought was fairly obvious:









Okay, is there someone out there who thinks leaving the door open is standard procedure? I should point out that this restroom is right next to the eating area of a small café. You can hear people munching through the closed (and locked) door when you’re inside, and I guess the people outside occasionally hear you. So is a reminder really necessary? Plus, the first statement cries out for a direct object (“before you use the facilities” or something similar). I’d also like to see a period after “Thank you,” which isn’t, I admit, a sentence but seems to need closure.

Onward and ungrammatically upward, as in capital letters:

The sign wants to direct your throwing arm (actually, hand, according to the illustration), but the sign writer throws capital letters around at random. Also note the absence of a period at the end of the sentence — which really is a sentence.

One more:









Aren’t restrooms constructed for “conducting personal hygiene practices”? Isn’t that the whole point? This beauty, by the way, sat atop a sink. I washed my hands anyway. I hope everyone else does, too. It’s necessary.


2 thoughts on “Necessary Information

  1. Ellie Presner

    #1 – “before you use” – When I see “use” written with no object, it reminds me of the way drug users use “use.” Uhh, sorry for all my use of “use”!

    #2 – I don’t know when I’ve ever seen capitalization in a sentence such as this one, defying all logic! I’d like to throw it away!

    #3 – “hygiene practices” – perhaps an employee was caught shaving her legs in there? Or… his legs?

    1. Geraldine Post author

      I hadn’t noticed the drug reference, but now that you point it out, I think it makes perfect sense. I’m not sure about leg shaving! Maybe full baths in a washroom sink?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.