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When I am Copyeditor General ...: Monkeys will not be employed as signwriters


Monkeys will not be employed as signwriters

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I'm starting to sense a link between grammar and animals:

When you put the two together, one will be wrong.

And as there's no such thing as a wrong animal (apart, of course, from the duck-billed platypus--don't get me started), the wrongness must be on the wordy side of the fence.

For previous evidence, spurious though it undoubtedly is, may I remind you of the "No Live Parking" sign in the Stone Zoo parking lot. And the dog-related signage from a couple of posts back.

And now here's Exhibit C: a trio of signs from Franklin Park Zoo. The first shows a marked reluctance to use the space bar:

I translate this as "Open door slowly; people, perhaps, have gone to heaven."

Next, we have a lesson in stating the obvious:

Because otherwise we'd call it a wall.

Finally, the lamest excuse I've ever seen:

So you can only feed the miniature goats on the days when there's no weather? How often does that happen?

I think this episode riled me especially because zoos (for better or worse) often have kids wandering the grounds. And while their behavior occasionally offends me (the way they scream at skittish animals, bang their tiny, hard fists against glass next to "please do not bang on glass" signs and throw rocks at anything not sufficiently animated to entertain them), I'd still prefer it if they grew up with some understanding of, and respect for, correct language use.

Copyeditor General's ruling: Gorillas should be kept out of the signwriting shop and left to do what they do best: eat fruit, fling poo and create abstract art.

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