Friday, May 06, 2005
Is this lying? I saw a car today with a little sign saying "Children on board". But there weren't any children actually in the car at the time. Now, the little sign seems to be making a pretty bald statement that two or more children are in the car. Obviously, in real life you don't take the little sign down every single time the children leave the car, and put it back up when they get back in. So what the sign really means is "Children on board some of the time", even though I'm thinking most people when they read it will interpret it to mean that there are. So are these people lying? (I suppose you could say the sign is lying.) Or are our expectations managed by the static-ness of the sign?