Posts Tagged ‘signs’


Confusing sign

September 24, 2012

At a recent hotel stay in Australia I saw this sign below the air conditioning controls:

The bit that confused me was the ‘allow 40 minutes for changes in temperature’. This was a single hotel room, not an apartment, suite, or a house. It was maybe 30 square metres in area (perhaps a tad more, perhaps a tad less, but close enough).

What sort of inefficient air conditioning unit within the room takes 40 minutes to change the temperature in a 30 square metre room??? And how many complaints did they have about the air conditioning not working before they decided to get these signs printed and attached the the wall of all 200+ rooms in this hotel?

So I waited the requested 40 minutes, and you know what? I didn’t feel any change of temperature after setting it to the lowest cool option!


Signs and labels that make you go ‘Oops!’

September 21, 2012

I was in Bali recently. English is their third language, so I tried not to notice awkward English text and phrases or odd spellings. However, a couple of pieces of text made me whip out the camera and take a photo.

The first was on a menu at an Italian restaurant (no, I don’t know why we went to an Italian restaurant in Bali either!). Seven of the menus at the table listed ‘grilled aubergines’, but one had this:

The drinks menu where we were staying had this:

Signs seen along the road included these:

I’m still not sure how you can make ‘antique’ furniture to order!

And then there was this road sign of an exclamation point — I’ve never seen one before, and most of the ones I saw in Bali didn’t have any text below them like this one does — anyone know what this sign means? I assume it’s a danger or warning sign of some sort (‘pasar’ = ‘market’).


More labeling woes

May 9, 2012

Sometimes you just wonder how people decide on the names for their company/product…. Their website gives you no clue as to the origin of the name either. And searching Google brought up a lot of hits totally unrelated to chilli sauce…

Update from one of my readers:

They have now a new product called “Jerk Sauce”. I’ve got a bottle of this and on the back label it says “tested on humans. Bon appetite!” One questionable labeling after another and it does not seem to stop! Apparently they have another sauce product called something “rub”.

My assistant Linda was there with her family and they approached the lady at the stand and asked about the name. The owner knows that the name is rather inappropriate (as their friends keep on pointing out to her), but apparently this is a family recipe and that’s what they always called it, so they decided not to change the name.

At least the stand gets the crowd talking and it appears to work as a marketing gimmick. Linda bought $50 worth of sauces from them and the entire time she could not stop giggling.



Another strange label

May 8, 2012

This time, quite a different mixed message that still has me puzzling.

I live in the south-west corner of Western Australia not far from several famous wine regions (Margaret River, Geographe, and Blackwood Valley, in particular). When we go out for dinner in a restaurant, we try to buy local wine — really local if possible, then south-west wine or Western Australian wine in general, before we look at a wine from other areas of Australia. Many of the local wines are from boutique winemakers who don’t make wine in export quantities. There are exceptions, of course, and some winemakers have a healthy export market.

So that’s the background to this label:

Frankland River is in the lower south-west of Western Australia; the 3 Oceans Wine Company is in the Margaret River wine region in south-west Western Australia, about an hour’s drive from where I live. The restaurant where I had this wine is about a 45-minute drive from the winery.

So why on earth is there an ‘Imported from Finland’ note on this bottle???

My husband thought it must be a mis-labeling and that perhaps a batch of wines from the winery got the wrong labels. It’s the only logical explanation, because why else would a Western Australian restaurant be purchasing a Western Australian wine from an importer in Finland?

That said, there are Australian wines that Australians can buy cheaper in the US than in Australia (Penfolds Bin 389 springs to mind…). The reason is that these large companies export massive quantities of their wine in big vats/bladders. The wine is then bottled in the importing country and the label is applied.

But Finland???

Anyone got any other ideas? I’m still confused by the mixed messages on this label.


Fun with road safety signs

January 17, 2012

Long-time blog reader, client, and good guy, J, shared these photos with me that he took while driving through South Australia on his way back to Perth, Western Australia.

It seems they’re part of a road safety campaign, though it’s a concern that ‘political correctness’ (a oxymoron if ever there was one!) has resulted in ‘rooster’ being substituted for ‘cock’ in the press releases.

Clever. To the point. And they get the message across to the target audience — young Aussie male country drivers. I love how they targeted their intended audience so well. Typically, these young guys don’t read newspapers or watch TV news etc., so traditional ads never really get to them. But a billboard on a country road that they’re likely to be speeding on? Priceless.

Don't drive like a knob

Don't drive like a wanker

Don't drive like a cock

Update: Complaints about these signs rejected:

[Links last checked January 2012; thanks for sharing the photos, J]


Funny emergency signs

May 15, 2008

Some very funny explanations for some very serious warning and safety signs:

[This article was first published in the March 2007 CyberText Newsletter; link last checked January 2008]


Doesn’t anyone care about the bridge?

February 1, 2008

Silly sign


The rising cost of gas

January 26, 2008

How much next week?

Safety and hazard symbols

January 13, 2008

Ever needed a safety/hazard sign or symbol to use in your documentation? Then try the ones available here:

They are in EPS and GIF formats and are free to use in technical documentation; there are restrictions on their use for other purposes, so make sure you read the legal notes.

Update 26 August 2008:

Note: As at April 2011, the instructions below do not work. I have emailed the website owner to find out how to access these symbols.

  1. When you get to this page, click the graphic for the symbols. You get taken to the Forum page (mostly in German but with enough English words to figure out what’s what).
  2. On the main Forum page, click a set in the top section (they have “N” next to them).
  3. When you get to the next page, all the symbols for that set are listed individually, and the complete set is ‘pinned’ at the top. To see all the symbols in that set, click the link for the ‘pinned’ set; to see an individual symbol, click its link.
  4. Once you can see the symbol (or the complete set), you’ll find a link to download it.

[Link last checked April 2011]