Signboard language

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L.2

Senior Member
Arabic
Hi everyone
Can signboards be written in a wrong grammer?
I noticed that many times the last one was a sign in a door tells people to 'be quiet pop sleeping'
I think it must be pop is sleeping, I do not know. Can anyone tell me the rule please? Is it ok to omit verb to be? For example, no animal allowed.
Thank you.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Hi everyone
    Can signboards be written in a wrong grammer?
    It's practically mandatory, as is misspelling grammar. :)

    I noticed that many times the last one was a sign in a door tells people to 'be quiet pop sleeping'
    I think it must be pop is sleeping, I do not know. Can anyone tell me the rule please? Is it ok to omit verb to be? For example, no animal allowed.
    As a private citizen, you can omit anything you want -- but it's best if you keep some sort of meaning for your readers, especially if you want to warn them (No dogs allowed!) or want their cooperation (Be Quiet. Dad Sleeping. or the more effective Be Quiet. Armed Dad Sleeping.)

    Beware Dog! would suffice, although I would put Beware of Dog (or, Beware of Owner).

    Shut Up! would seem effective, but might have the opposite effect. Quiet, Please might be better. And giving a good reason -- or even time ranges -- might improve your chances. Quiet, please, 24pm. Baby sleeping. (If baby wakes, he's yours.)

    Once you begin correcting your neighbors' hand-scrawled signs, you're in trouble. Although you could take a felt-tip pen at midnight and become MagicMarkerMan. :D
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In any kind of display text – posters, newspaper headlines, picture captions, advertisement headings, etc. – a reduced grammar is common. Articles and auxiliary verbs are often left out.
     

    Ann O'Rack

    Senior Member
    UK
    UK English
    Copyright's been on the funny juice this morning! :D

    If you're talking about more official signage than a hastily scrawled note on a bedroom door, you will often find that signs use a telegraphic style without verbs, generating hours of amusement for those among us who want to deliberately misinterpret them. For example, there is a sign on a road locally that declares, "Caution! Children, slow down!" as if the children were behind the wheels of very fast cars. (Oh well, I thought it was funny and still smile every time I pass it.)
     
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