Normative Signs: The Poetry of "Ought"

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

No Parking Any Time or Anytime


It’s not my intention to make this into a “grammar nazi” blog, but I couldn’t resist here. The two signs above — one correct (on the left) and one incorrect (on the right) are physically located about 30 feet apart, on Bond Street in Toronto. Presumably they mean (or are intended to mean) the same thing.

Parking Suspended

parking_suspendedThis lovely sign was shot in London, by Nancy Walton.

What’s of interest here is the polite footnote, which reads “If this suspension is unclear, or is not being used, please call…” and gives a phone number.

I love the commas (students, take note!). And I love the invitation to, you know, give us a call if anything should be unclear. What’s unclear to me is what it would mean for a parking suspension not to be “used.”