Normative Signs: The Poetry of "Ought"

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

Child Safety & Reason-Giving

child_safetyI’m especially fond of normative signs that give reasons for their injunctions. I suspect that one side effect of the sheer volume of normative signs in our lives is that we tend to ignore them; so at least some sign-posters try to emphasize that their signs are not arbitrary, but grounded in reasons we all care about. This one is on the gate of a preschool near my house.

Danger, Danger: High Voltage!

high_voltageI guess if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. But surely this is overkill. Or it should be. How much warning should anyone need to stay away from high voltage? This is the door of an electrical substation in my neighbourhood. Any one of those warnings ought to be enough. It’s electricity, OK? Stay the hell out!

See also: “Danger, Danger: High Voltage!” by Electric Six.