I saw this message displayed on a programmable sign over a highway, prefaced by the notation “Georgia Law”.
Obviously, the message is
Turn on [your] headlights when [it is] raining.
The intent is clear, but the syntax is awful.
Syntactically, the implied subject of both the verbs “turn” and “rain” is “you”, so technically the sentence means:
Turn on [your] headlights when [you are] raining.
I don’t have any particular suggestion for how to “improve” the sign. Signs aren’t written in normal syntax because of space constraints, so any alternate version would have to be really short. Writing “If it is raining, turn on your headlights” is obviously longer and not obviously better, because even when space is not limited, we expect signs to be written in a terse style that lacks pronouns.
Ah well. Pronouns in English are problematic anyway.
See below for 63 photos from a road trip my parents took me on from Atlanta to Nashville to Mammoth Cave (in Kentucky).
Continue reading Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, USA
If you’ve never heard of Mad Libs, it’s basically a kind of kids’ activity book that helps you create silly stories. The booklet asks for examples of different kinds of words (parts of speech like “adjective” or more specific kinds of words like “color”). The words will be used in a specially written story, but you don’t know exactly how they will be used. After all the words have been written down, you copy them into the story and read it aloud to see how it sounds.
Every once in a while, I tell someone the story of the time my mom and I did a Mad Libs story that made us laugh like crazy. In fact, there’s already a blog post about it. See below for more on that story, which I rediscovered on my recent trip to Atlanta.
Continue reading Best Mad Libs story ever!
I bought these long ago on a Girl Scout trip, a kind of pilgrimage to the place where Juliet Low started the organization. See below for what I remember from that trip.
Continue reading Horse tails and horse tales from Savannah, Georgia
My dad no doubt wished my mom and brother and I had chosen something different from Redbox, though I somewhat doubt the whole catalog had anything all four of us would have liked.
Passengers was kinda like Wall-E: a slow, lonely, quiet, sci-fi/romance movie with approximately two characters, and an embedded message that plants are more important than technology. It was also kinda like Titanic: a rich girl falls for a poor boy on a damaged ship.
My dad kept hoping aliens would show up. I don’t blame him; I think the main character’s major choice early on in the story was pretty unforgivable, and the ending would have been better off going in a different direction altogether.
That hair! Those hats! Styles in America have changed…
My dad’s channel surfing on broadcast television landed us with this noir film, which oddly featured the tune of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” playing in the background of many scenes.
In Singapore I have a large collection of small little bowls purchased during my travels. However, the collection began before I moved away from home for good. Here are some of the small little bowls that reside at my parents’ house, which all probably entered the collection before 2003. Sadly, I don’t know where they’re all from. See below for details on these and several others I found during my visit to Atlanta.
Continue reading Small little bowls from years past