January 16, 2012

"No strollers!"

What is your first reaction to this sign?

Your answer may depend on your family status -- and also on the dialect that you speak. From the Metropolitan Diary section in the NY Times:

Sometimes New York City signs are less than helpful. At a bus stop on Second Avenue, I saw two ladies perusing a sign. They looked confused, and they were speaking a language that sounded like Swedish. Wanting to help foreign visitors, I explained: “I know it’s a crazy sign — it really is O.K. to stand here! ‘No standing’ really means ‘No parking.' The following week, at the same bus stop, I passed the time by relating the anecdote to a woman waiting beside me. In her British accent, she told me her own sign story: “When I saw a sign that said ‘No strollers,’ I thought it meant ‘Walk in a brisk manner.’
(In British English, a stroller is referred to as a 'push chair' or a 'buggy'.)

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