Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Ordinary Aggression of Signs

Amazingly Amanda draws my attention to this. This mania for posting instructions is, indeed, a horrible thing. I now refuse to enter a famous fish and chip shop in Norfolk because of its monumentally depressing signs. But I'm not convinced by this site's labelling of the impulse as passive-aggressive. It's just normally aggressive as far as I can see. Of course, very occasionally, it can be poetry.


  1. yes, maybe your refusal is passive-aggressive behaviour towards the idea of a fish and chip supper.

    prohibition is quite reasonable. what I find odd is signs encouraging you to do things you'd not once consider doing if left to your own initiative: ''break glass in emergency''; ''queue here''; ''ring bell once'' etc.

  2. The signs don't bother me quite as much as they do Bryan; it's the quality of purchase that counts. The last fish (and chip) supper bought locally consisted of batter thick enough to use as flood defences - the idea that it contained a creature that once swam in the Atlantic is quite ridiculous. No, let them do their worse with their messages of enticement and prohibition, just give me something I can get teeth into without risk to the set of my jaw; now that would be poetry.