Tag Archives: trucks

Traffic Favorites

During the holiday season “clip shows” pop up, presumably to give those involved in creating them some time with their families. Grammarian in the City is no different. I’ve just returned from vacation, where I occasionally snapped photos of ridiculous signs for use in future posts. While working through jet lag, I’m recombining bits of old posts of some of my favorite traffic signs, such as . . .







The word “oxymoron” was invented for situations like this one — especially the last two syllables, which are reserved for the sign-posters, who want you to stop and not stop at the same intersection — which, by the way, is in front of the United Nations, where contradictory statements occur with some regularity.

And then there’s . . .

If you’re a truck needing Weight Watchers, you can drive on this street as long as you don’t get an “overweight permit,” which I presume is some sort of legal document. Thus this sign tells you to break the law or stay off Park Avenue.

And for those of you who drive taxis . . .

From this sign I assume that taxis with more than one passenger can go anywhere, but if your destination is above “46 St” or you have a crowd in the back seat, you’re out of luck.

Going to Extremes

No, I’m not talking about politics, though I certainly could find some extremes in that arena if I searched for, say, .00001 seconds. Instead, I’m thinking about the human tendency to take everything to the edges — even when those edges lie in opposite directions. Have you noticed simultaneous cut-downs and expansions?  As I walk around the city, I see an increasing number of micro cars that could transport two people and maybe one small bag of groceries. I also see fleets of giant SUVs. You could stack an entire second-grade class in one of those vehicles, assuming you’re not fussy about seatbelts. Here’s a photo encapsulating the trend:






The width of this truck stretches across the entire façade of a good-sized Manhattan high rise. The lettering is large, too. The only problem is that the last letter doesn’t fit — assuming, of course, that this isn’t a mobile ballet studio, but rather a “Crate & Barrel” delivery van.

I also hear the same tendency when shoppers are summoned to the cash register. I wrote in an earlier post (“Following Guest” http://www.grammarianinthecity.com/?p=187 ) about turning customers into “guests,” and now this phrase has accelerated into the extended “Following Shoe Lover” and the contracted “Following” at adjacent stores. I asked the “Following Shoe Lover” employee how she had decided on that phrase, knowing, of course, that she hadn’t decided at all. “They tell us to say that,” she admitted sheepishly. I imagine that many of her customers, like me, don’t love shoes; they simply need them. But announcing “Following Shoe Needer,” however accurate, isn’t fashionable in the post-fact era.

It’s enough to make me nostalgic for the days when clerks bellowed “NEXT!”