"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese

Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

British Silly Signs

Some people are blessed with the ability to write a coherent phrase or sentence. The rest, it seems, write signs. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the home of the English language - the United Queendom.

It gives me great pleasure to read the works of signwriters. The daily stress of living simply melts away as I fold over and guffaw at their blunders.

Alright, some signs are genuinely inspiring. I'll share some of those another time. Others inspire nothing but bewilderment. The best ones abuse the rules of grammar or reveal the confused state of mind of their authors. Today's example was discovered during a recent visit to the rainy home shores of the Angles, Saxons and Celts.

"Dead Slow Hoot" it proclaimed. We can all guess what the author intended, but the word "hoot" is so unusual in Canada that I added the sign to my growing collection. The wicked pedia defines "hoot" as the cry of an owl. I can drive slowly, but I am afraid my owl impersonation is not very good.

Apparently "hoot" is also sometimes used as a slang word for cocaine. Perhaps the sign should have said "drive with speed".

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