Normative Signs: The Poetry of "Ought"

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

Gate Can Cause Death

gate_deathI like especially emphatic normative signs. This one pulls no punches: Be careful, here, because this gate can cause serious injury or death.

And in addition, this sign features a truly brilliant icon representing some dude getting crushed by…well, crushed by a box with an arrow in it, which I suppose represents the aforementioned lethal gate.

Don’t Even Think About It

dont_even_think2Here’s a ‘no parking’ sign with attitude.

(Thanks to Peter Jarowski for sending the picture, which was taken in downtown Ottawa.)

You get some understanding of why the sign is so emphatic when you see it in context: it is posted above a “siamese” connection, a place where firefighters can connect a hose to pump water into a burning building’s sprinkler system.