jtmportland: house rules As I linger here outs…


house rules

As I linger here outside the café with a cigarette and cup of coffee (black, no sugar), a few things stand out about these two yellow signs: 

  • the sentence structure is twisty and curious, but nonetheless rather charming
  • the characters are mostly uppercase, with a few randomly placed lowercase letters for extra flavour
  • the word ‘AISLES’ has been corrected with an overlay of tape (to be fair, it can be a challenging word)
  • ’Inconvenience’ has been misspelled and NOT corrected with an overlay of tape
  • the layout is mostly centre-justified in keeping with traditional sign structure

But here’s the thing that really has me thinking: at first glance the two signs are identical photocopies. But look a little closer and you will find that they are not. There are very subtle differences. Some characters are lower case on one, not on the other; some characters have little curly flourishes which are lacking on the other; the word ONLY is underscored on one, not the other.

Which leads me to this conclusion: At some point there was a terrible incident involving a combination of hot food or drink and a baby buggy. The proprietor, hoping to avoid a repeat, crafted an informational sign with a couple of errors, which he then very carefully duplicated by hand, whilst still making those same errors. Somewhere along the line, someone pointed out that ‘aisles’ was misspelled and it was corrected with an overlay of tape. Finally, it was decided to post the signs side-by-side, mere inches apart, practically inviting scrutiny such as this.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I love stumbling upon these little curiosities.

Alas, I don’t have time to ponder the third sign.

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