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When I am Copyeditor General ...: Signage will have universal meaning


Signage will have universal meaning

Apologies if you already read this on LimeyG Bends Yer Lughole.

This is the warning in the parking lot at Stone Zoo:

"No live parking? 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." And 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).

Copyeditor General's ruling: make sure your audience understands what you're trying to tell them.


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

Hey, I have one of those at home:


Anonymous said...

I saw the 'No live parking' sign at the stone pond as well. Thanks for posting its meaning.

Joy said...

I was just at the Stone Zoo on Sunday with my family and we all had the same question about the sign. I even sent some pictures to friends. One of them responded "Because that's the zombie parking lot, live parking is on the other side." Haha. I was just about to post the pic to my FB and see what kind of responses I get. I figured a google search couldn't hurt. I must tell you though, in regards to it being regional, my brother-in-law is a native of Mass and he also had no idea what it meant. we all had a great laugh over it anyway. Don't know how effective the signs will be for them if no one knows the meaning. At any rate, thanks for clearing up the confusion. =)

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