This one is a classic. Simple, straightforward. And combining a pictograph — a big “P” combined with the classic circle/slash — with wording specifying where you can’t park. Not especially interesting. It’s in the alley (or “lane”) behind my house. It’s also adjacent to my laneway (or driveway), which I suspect confuses a few visitors.
I’ve created this blog because I’ve always been fascinated by normative signs. I love the range of ways in which institutions, businesses, policy makers, and others try to get people to do things. Sometimes it’s a command: “No Smoking!” Sometimes it’s a request: “Please clean up after your dog.” Sometimes it’s a reminder of our manners: “As a courtesy to other customers, please…” etc.
So that’s what I’ll document here. I’ll post pictures — mostly ones I’ve taken myself — of various normative signs I spot during my travels, with occasional comments about what makes them interesting.
Just to be clear, I’m not a linguist or a semiotician. I’m a philosopher by training, and I teach ethics at a university. So this blog is only vaguely related to my field of expertise. It’s mostly fun.
Feel free to send me examples. I won’t promise to use them on the blog, but if I do I’ll give you credit. Please send only photos that you’ve taken yourself, so that we avoid copyright issues. Please also let me know where the picture was taken, if that’s relevant. Send pics to: email@example.com