05 January 2008

In the interest of those around you, please read this blog.

There's a tendency in the UK to make public signs polite to the point of silliness, and it's been grinding my gears lately. Illustration by way of two examples:

  • On a bus: "For your safety and comfort, please do not use mobile phones in these seats, as it may distract the driver."

  • In a supermarket: "Motorcyclists, please remove your crash helmet as you enter the store, so that we may serve you better."

Now, in both these cases, the actual message is reasonable, but what annoys me is how they throw in an extra clause to make it sound like it's for your own good, camouflaging the true nature of the request. It may make me marginally safer to not annoy the driver with my inane mobile phone conversation, but it sure as hell has nothing to do with my comfort. And I truly have no idea how I'm going to be "better served" by Tesco if I don't wear my helmet around the store.

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