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Impenetrable symbols


I’ve had to create graphics in international symbols style; I know boiling ideas down to a few simple shapes is not easy. Still, half the damn things are so utterly impenetrable, I feel sure it would be better just to spell it out in Maori or Sanskrit or whatever and let me look it up in the dictionary. (My favorite sign in the States was the international symbol for library. Pointless. What would someone who can’t read the local lingo need with a library?)

Britain seems more than ordinarily decorated with these things. Seems everywhere we go, some poor bubble-headed bastard is getting electrocuted, sliced in half like firewood and pan-fried. He should sue somebody.

Today, I ran across one so impenetrable, I’m still trying to work it out (see above). So far, this is my best guess:

■Holy shit!
■According to the book
■Rays of light will come shooting out of your face, your bellybutton and the tips of your toes
■If you stand too close to the monolith

Got a better idea? I can’t seem to find an international symbol dictionary, so I’m opening it up to suggestions. And no — I’m not going to tell you where I saw it. That would be cheating.


Comment from Roman Wolf
Time: June 16, 2009, 6:37 pm

The third one is quite simple. Do a silly walk while going across the street. The sign is brought you by the Ministry of Silly Walks, thanks to funding from the NuLabour Government.

Comment from Tesla
Time: June 16, 2009, 6:57 pm

It looks like some of the crazy crap at Engrish.com [yes, that IS spelled correctly. Mayhaps you could send the decoded version to them. Guess it’s not only the English as a 2nd lang. folks that can screw things up.
Oh yeah, Mother tongue my ass.
Oh yeah, oh yeah. The kitty pics is dandy. Thx.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 16, 2009, 7:04 pm

■Hey you!
■Read the manual!
■If you do the Hokey Pokey
■Vending machines will be attracted to you!

Comment from Gromulin
Time: June 16, 2009, 7:17 pm

1. Attention!
2. Please follow the procedures in the Nuclear Reactor Manual.
3. Or beams of quarks and neutrinos will penetrate your eyes, belly button and toes.
4. Causing you to grow into a giant mutant, much larger than the average office building.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 16, 2009, 7:20 pm

It saith in the Holy Book
When the god is pierced by many arrows
The brick shall become a man.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: June 16, 2009, 7:48 pm

Er, the last one is obviously a warning that the door in front of you was built for munchkins.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: June 16, 2009, 7:50 pm

Oh, never mind – I should have got it at first glance…

Hey !

Those overdue books ?

You’re going to be in a world of hurt !

And buried in an undersized coffin !

Obviously, this was outside a library. Or maybe even inside a library.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 16, 2009, 7:58 pm

If you read a lot
And you dance like an idiot,
You’re a square!

Comment from Cant hark my cry
Time: June 16, 2009, 9:53 pm

Prepare with great caution for open book exams, as they are fraught with unexpected challenges, and can reduce you to an inanimate object.

Comment from francis
Time: June 16, 2009, 10:45 pm



Comment from francis
Time: June 16, 2009, 10:57 pm

My favorite example of fun with suicidal stick men comes from my last trip to Niagra (notice the warning sign), click my name for the pic.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: June 17, 2009, 12:52 am

Whoever designed that cavalcade of crap should have his thumbs broken with hammers to stop him ever perpetrating such an excrescence on the world ever again.

I’ve fought with graphic designers in the past who want to iconify everything. “Text is localisable,” I say. “It is culturally neutral. It is low bandwidth. It is robust.” “Icons,” they reply. “Shiny. Pretty. Icons.” Then I kill them and mutilate their corpses.

Comment from Christina
Time: June 17, 2009, 5:30 am

These interesting characters! And where you can see all the characters?

Comment from James
Time: June 17, 2009, 6:19 am

Warning: Reading books can lead to nausea and incontinence, followed by death.
Brought to you by the television ad council.

Comment from apotheosis
Time: June 17, 2009, 9:14 am

If you bonk without reading the kama sutra first, she’ll shoot you and throw you out the door.

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: June 17, 2009, 9:53 am

Attention book readers! Thought your tendons couldn’t detach themselves and come out of your body? Think again, bub. Also be aware of rectangular shadows, Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter, and that robot thing out of The Day the Earth Stood Still. You have been warned. Have a nice day.

Comment from Pupster
Time: June 17, 2009, 10:02 am

– Hey, moron!
– Read a book fer chrissakes
– Too stupid to walk and chew gum?
– Get in a sealed box, idiot is contagious

P.S. – Tesla? Add a ; or – to your 4th line to assist in readability. Sicko.

Pingback from Holy Shit! | Autumn People
Time: June 17, 2009, 11:26 am

[…] Okay, go read the latest at Weasel’s place. […]

Comment from Red State Witch
Time: June 17, 2009, 11:48 am

– What, Ho!
– The instructions say that
– If you vomit and spew fluids from your navel and toenails
– You will be turned into a rectangular solid.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: June 17, 2009, 12:11 pm

I think it’s pretty obvious actually:

Attention! Reading the Necronomicon whilst performing the Hokey Pokey will open a portal to the Land of Giants!

Comment from Jeff
Time: June 17, 2009, 12:24 pm


Comment from glenster
Time: June 17, 2009, 2:02 pm

Sadly, this isn’t a new problem:


(it’s probably old to most everyone here, but I thought someone might enjoy it!)

Comment from Allen
Time: June 17, 2009, 4:08 pm

This is going to hurt.
Don’t believe us? Read the book.
We told you it was going to hurt.
Yes, that’s the coffin we’ll be stuffing you in.

Burma Shave!

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: June 17, 2009, 7:38 pm

See this book?
It will give you paper cuts like you wouldn’t believe!
You’ll need to use this enormous toga for a bandage.

Comment from Fa Cube Itches
Time: June 17, 2009, 7:45 pm

Flying Necronomicon
Raises Army of Deadites
Flee to Castle wherein you can find loud-mouthed braggart from future.

Comment from Weasely
Time: June 17, 2009, 8:27 pm

Beware of Books! Scan with all areas of your body lest you be transferred into a dimentional gateway.

Pingback from Sarah Et Cetera » Free for all Friday 26
Time: June 19, 2009, 10:14 am

[…] More kinogram hilarity, in the tradition of “when smelling radiation, please run from the pirates.” […]

Pingback from S. Weasel
Time: June 19, 2009, 6:56 pm

[…] the answer to this question is: lawnmower. I peeled that decal off the deck of my new (old) pushmower prior to treating a […]

Comment from RecklessProcess
Time: June 21, 2009, 12:40 pm

This is a library!
If you talk,cough, or whistle, or if your stomach rumbles, or you are walking loudly…
You will be shown the door.

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