Saturday, July 25

Just sayin'

There was a wreck on Highway 41 south of Oakhurst Friday morning. We heard about it on the radio pretty early, and figured it would be cleared up by the time we got to that area on our way to Fresno. An hour and a half later we arrived at the tail end of stopped traffic just up the hill from Oakhurst. The wreck was still there and hadn’t been cleared even a little bit. So we were parked for about 20 minutes till we were allowed to creep up the hill and pass the mess.

While stopped, I studied a traffic sign and wondered about two things: why is the word BY in a smaller size than the rest, and the word RADAR is spelled backward.

Go figure.


Pete S. said...

While sitting there stopped on the road, your idling electric motor must have used up lots of battery! What's the typical idle RPM for an electric motor anyway?

As for the spelling of RADAR, my dictionary says that frontwards and backwards are both accepted spellings these days. Another sign of society's decay.

I hope you find out why the word BY has smaller letters.

Tom Hurley said...

I can't find out what the idling speed of the motor is at rest. At least I can't hear it doing anything, so it must be very, very low. While I'm at it, I'll ask the dealer why the word READY lights up on the instrument panel as soon as I turn on the car and that word just sits there, lighting up the dash more than any other thing. It doesn't shut off until the car itself is shut off. So, where's the NOT READY light? I'll be sure to ask.

As for why the word BY is smaller, I hear that the sign makers originally wanted to use the word UTILIZING but that was vetoed because it was "too big a word" for the average motorist to understand. Being a big long word, it had to use smaller letters in order to fit on the sign. When BY was adopted instead, they forgot to change the "Use small letters for this word" instructions to the sign makers.

Pete S. said...

I'm glad they didn't utilize "UTILIZING." Many people have the annoying habit of utilizing the word "utilize" because it sounds technical and impressive, when they could just as easily utilized "use."

Avis said...

Really? An accident on the 41?

Tom Hurley said...

Hard to believe, huh? I have tried to imagine what highways would look like if all the debris and wrecked vehicles and dead deer, dogs, cats etc were simply left in place. Roads would look like huge heaps snaking through the landscape like mole mounds. Grisly thought.