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The Value of Travel

20 October 2008

Every time I step out of the house, it seems, I come across a sign or instruction that makes little or no sense to me, or offends my rather pedantic views on the use of English.  Who writes these things (like “There’s lot of jobs on Sydney buses”?)

But going overseas brings me loads of wonderful signs that certainly don’t offend me (they are after all written by people for whom English is a foreign language) but are either funny or a little confusing.

At Bombay airport, all passengers were given ONE label for each piece of luggage.  It measured about 2″ x 1.5″ and on it we had to write our name and flight number.  The instructions on the back of the label read “Stick this on the inside and outside of your luggage.  Make sure your case is closed”.  I stress that we had one label per item.  I had no idea where to stick it.

On the airline bus from Tokyo to the airport, an illuminated sign told us to “Inform the driver if you see a suspicious thing”.  I don’t even know what one looks like.

And on Finnair’s pre-flight customer information video, we were told “If you wish to sleep, please remain seated”.   So climbing into the overhead lockers isn’t an option then?

Oh, isn’t travel educational? 

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3 comments

  1. Welcome back, you old pedant. I’ve missed you.


  2. Well, those last two stories certainly got this teacher of non-English speakers chuckling!

    Welcome home.


  3. Yes! She’s back!



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