Friday, May 06, 2005

Baby on board - sometimes

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?

5 Comments:

Anonymous trevor@k’alebøl said...

If the driving of people with such a sign is anything to go by, "children" may be referring to emotional, not chronological, age.

3:05 AM  
Blogger C. Callosum said...

Good point, Trevor! Still, there was only one person in the car...

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Saar Drimer said...

The question is: were you any more careful with your driving because of the sign? any signs on cars should not be taken seriously...
see what this guy wrote on bumper stickers:
http://basiccablefortheinternet.blogspot.com/2005/03/why-i-hate-bumper-stickers-2-reasons.html

9:08 PM  
Blogger C. Callosum said...

I'm always careful when I drive, for the simple reason that I don't drive. Anyway, I guess my post seems to imply that I take these things seriously...which I don't. I just like bumper stickers when they're funny. I don't really feel that a car is the place to scream out your philosophy in life.

But Saar brings up an interesting point. These signs often have the opposite effect on people, don't they? Some years ago, the Land Transport Authority here made a rule that novice drivers have to have a special sticker on their car, an orange triangle superimposed on a yellow square, to signal to other drivers to drive carefully around them. Of course, people did exactly the opposite, chivvying these drivers instead, though I don't think it's a problem anymore - people just ignore their presence.

7:52 AM  
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8:59 AM  

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