Sunday, June 03, 2007

When I am Copyeditor General (pt.2)

When the federal government introduces the grammatical equivalent of the Surgeon General, and I am the inaugural holder of that position, there will be a rule that signage must have universal meaning.

Case in point, the warning in the parking lot at Stone Zoo:

"What's that?" I asked The Boy.

"Dunno," he said. "Maybe it means no tailgating."

I had to search around online before I discovered it meant "no sitting in the parking lot with the engine running."

In other words, no idling.

Why couldn't they just say that? It's a much more common phrase. A Google search shows 93,000 results for "no idling," but only 30 for "no live parking." They were almost all in Massachusetts, so it's obviously a regionalism (and therefore the logical wording to post at a location that may attract out-of-state visitors).


On the other hand, I did get this fabulous shot of the jaguar:

Hey, I have one of those at home:

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