Language abuse…It’s a sign.

Posted: February 26, 2019 in Words
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I’m writing this on Monday afternoon with chicken stock simmering on the stove, something to combat the cold outside.  I exercised this morning, both on the treadmill and on the weight machines, but now I’m going to exercise my laughing muscles.  You’re welcome to give yours a workout as well.

As usual, at least so far, all examples are from Richard Lederer’s manual on how misuse of the English language can make us laugh, Anguished English.  Have any of you picked up a copy either at the library or bookstore since you started reading the Language Abuse posts?  I hope at least a few of you have enjoyed them enough to do so.  But now, without further ado or even much ado about nothing, let’s take a look at signs that might give a rather different impression to the reader than was expected by the creator of the sign.

In a New York restaurant:  Customers who consider our waitresses uncivil ought to see the manager.

On the wall of a Baltimore estate:  Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. — Sisters of Mercy.

In the offices of a loan company:  Ask about our plans for owning your home.

On a Maine shop:  Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship.

In the window of an Oregon general store:  Why go elsewhere to be cheated, when you can come here?

In a clothing store:  Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks.

Outside a country shop:  We buy junk and sell antiques.

In a Pennsylvania cemetery:  Person are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.

On a Tennessee highway:  Take notice:  when this sign is under water, this road is impassible.

In the window of a Kentucky appliance store:  Don’t kill your wife.  Let our washing machines do the dirty work.

On an Indiana shopping mall marquee:  Archery tournament.  Ears pierced.

And with that, I wish you a most enjoyable and blessing-filled Tuesday (or whatever day you might be on for my friends in a different hemisphere).



  1. we were in that loan company too… at least one thing what exists here too LOL

  2. happyface313 says:

    😀 what a great way to start the day, dear Janet!
    Thanks! xo 🙂

  3. Thanks for the laughs!

  4. ksbeth says:

    hilarious! thanks –

  5. Su Leslie says:

    Thanks for the chuckles Janet.

  6. Sue says:

    Oh, what a hoot – thanks for these!

  7. very good – thanks!!!

  8. Leya says:

    Hilarious! Thanks for brightening my morning!

  9. Dan Antion says:

    These were good for several laughs. I haven’t exercised yet, but I’ll be in a better mood when I do. Thanks!

  10. All of them made me laugh but I got an instant visual of men with 16 and 17 necks!

  11. roninjax says:

    Excellent. Thanks for the wisdom and making me smile. 🙂

  12. de Wets Wild says:


    Some of these are actually telling us the truth about the establishments without having meant to! Like the loan company, and the antique shop!

  13. Thanks for brightening my day. That last sign in the Indiana Mall also serves as a warning to window-shoppers.

  14. Definitely I’d stay away from that Maine shop. Humorous signs indeed, Janet.

  15. joey says:

    They’re all good, but I just love the first one so very much. Also, graveyard flower pickin, LOL!

  16. Joanne Sisco says:

    BWAHAHAHAHA {trying to catch my breath} HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. — Sisters of Mercy 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
    I think these might be the same Sisters that ran the Catholic school I went to as a child!

    • 🙂 I’ve seen “Trespassers will be persecuted” signs, which are also funny, but the Sisters of Mercy part on this one make it even better. I can tell you enjoyed these as much as I did. Find the book and you’ll laugh until you cry…literally. I have. And there’s a “More Anguished English” as well.