Normative Signs: The Poetry of "Ought"

In which the author finds beauty in how people tell other people what to do.

Stop Yield

stop-yieldHere’s one I’ve never seen before. It’s from a covered parking garage in Ottawa.

What’s going on here? Is this sign self-contradictory? Or merely emphatic? Or is it a requirement that you first STOP, and then yield to, say, traffic coming from another direction? If it IS meant to imply something like the latter, how is anyone supposed to guess that?

(photo contributed by Julien Bissonnette)

No Engine Brakes

engine_brakeThis one is aimed at truckers; very few people other than truckers know what engine brakes are, anyway. Engine braking is a way of abruptly slowing a truck’s engine as a way of slowing the vehicle (sort of like shifting down). It’s loud as hell, which is why it’s forbidden in lots of residential areas.

I guess the injunction here is “don’t do something noisy, unless you really need to.”

(photo contributed by Jonas Dow)