For Amphibious Vehicles Only?

All others will be toad

It turns out that toad sign wasn’t an isolated incident. Here are two more examples.

I know homonyms can sometimes be confusing if you only hear something and never see it in print, but come on! This spelling doesn’t even make sense. Do people ever think about what the words mean, or do they communicate purely by memorized vocalizations with no comprehension of the meanings of the sounds?

get toad

(From multiple places on the Web)

35 Responses to “For Amphibious Vehicles Only?”

  1. WMDKitty Says:

    One I had on the back of my power chair for a while:

    “Witches Parking. All Others Will Be Toad”

  2. Jeff Says:

    Do people ever think about what the words mean, or do they communicate purely by memorized vocalizations with no comprehension of the meanings of the sounds?

    I don’t think most people in this country think about anything more deeply than at the most shallow level possible. Part of it is learned behavior, but I’m convinced that part (as I keep saying) is neurological. When I was young and more idealistic (and more of an egalitarian), I tried to see it in terms of different aptitudes. I remember being impressed when my young cousins’ private school decided to implement Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences in its curriculum. No longer; the past thirty years have cured me. Most people – in this country, at any rate – are simply imbeciles. The tragedy is that they vote and reproduce.

    What happened to the future Star Trek promised us, in which everyone is a frakking genius and studies calculus in third grade? Oh, wait, that’s right – the fundies killed off science. Never mind.

  3. James Thompson Says:

    I see homonyms all the time in atheist blogs too.

    For some reason, I don’t notice spelling errors as much but the homonyms pop out at me.

    Spelling and grammar checkers don’t catch many of these.

    However, not much excuse on a sign that had to be sent to the print shop! Also didn’t anyone at the print shop notice this?

  4. Ron Britton Says:

    I’ve been saying for a long time that most Americans are stupid (and collectively we’re incredibly retarded, as evidenced by the results of our elections). I’ve taken a lot of flak for that over the years.

    If signs like these were isolated incidents, I’d be willing to write it off to a few bad apples making obvious errors that stick out (If one person wears red while everyone else wheres wears white (Sea See? I no know how two to use homonyms!), your eye is drawn to the red.).

    It’s not isolated. I see this stuff all the time. English is hard, I freely admit that. I have an aptitude for it. It was extremely easy for me to breeze through all of my English classes. I took them for fun. I’m willing to forgive a certain level.

    We’re way beyond that level. We’re a country of morons.

    And we vote.

    Democracy doesn’t work on the uneducated. I’m beginning to think that the problem isn’t that the schools failed us. I’m beginning to think that we’re wasting our time even trying. You can’t turn shit to gold.

    And we vote.

  5. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Ron? Or Jeff? I couldn’t tell there for a second. Anyway…

    It’s a big fucking country. I see homonym errors (and spelling errors) around town sometimes too. They do stick out. Everybody has a chuckle. However, I have never done a statistical analysis of the ratio.

    It may be funny, but it’s anecdotal and irrelevant.

    I think these signs are a great laugh. I love documented candid stupidity as much as the next guy. I DVR “America’s Dumbest…” and absolutely crack up watching up.

    But, please, can we at least agree that it’s just a wee bit hyperbolic to use this as evidence of the pervasiveness of stupidity in this country?

    Misspelled signs leading to a conclusion of a generally stupid populace is about as scientific as using blonde jokes to lead to a conclusion that all blondes are stupid.

    I’m going to be so bold as to state that stupidity is probably everywhere.

    I have met a lot of people with an embarrassingly weak grasp of the English language, but I have met very few people that did not make up for that deficit with great skills in other areas.

    Jeff (and maybe Ron) will disagree, but weak language skills is not (and should not be) indicative of overall intelligence nor as a test to execute the voting privelege.

  6. Ron Britton Says:

    I told you I take a lot of flak for it.

    I didn’t say we should take away their right to vote. That’s not how we set the country up. I’m not in favor of changing our founding documents.

    However, if I were setting up a new country today…

  7. 4ndyman Says:

    If I saw that second sign, I would park on the grass and be very upset if the Park Police didn’t give me my free toad.

    And Jeff: If you study your Star Trek history, you know that “we” had to get through another world war and a plague or two before we reached Roddenberry’s technological nirvana.

  8. Jeff Says:

    But, please, can we at least agree that it’s just a wee bit hyperbolic to use this as evidence of the pervasiveness of stupidity in this country?

    Goddamn it, PL, you do this all the time. Every time Ron or I pull out an example of the almost-humanly-impossible stupidity of the American populace, you come back with, "It's an isolated incident! It's hardly indicative!" How many "isolated incidents" do there have to be before you're willing to say, "Yep, I guess it's a pattern."

    Ron is right. This is a nation of morons. Yes, stupidity exists everywhere, but, among the other developed nations, not in as much abundance. We have a bumper crop, and have for the past 250 years. Ask a European; he'll tell you they don't have as many stupid people in Western Europe, and they certainly don't give them political power or allow them to dictate educational policy. That is, he'll tell you if he can catch his breath from laughing at us.

    I didn’t say we should take away their right to vote.

    I’m saying it. We should take away their right to vote. And their right to reproduce. And probably their right to hold signs up in public, because, one of these days, one of them is going to cause a bad traffic accident, as someone drives by and goes, “WTF?!”

  9. Jeff Says:

    And Jeff: If you study your Star Trek history, you know that “we” had to get through another world war and a plague or two before we reached Roddenberry’s technological nirvana.

    Yes, I know. On a related note, you kids get off my lawn.

  10. Former Santa Believer Says:

    …because, one of these days, one of them is going to cause a bad traffic accident, as someone drives by and goes, “WTF?!”

    Thanks for the chuckle!

    My very unscientific analysis leads me to believe those who read a great deal as children have a much easier time correctly using homonyms.

    Since we’re on the subject, what ever happened to adverbs?

    Thank you Mrs Boardman, for turning me on to books in grammar school.

  11. S. Says:

    another one that irritates me is the misspelling of break,as in ‘oh,give me a brake!’ brakes belong on a car,and nowhere else. :)

  12. Ron Britton Says:

    Since we’re on the subject, what ever happened to adverbs?

    BUY!! BUY!! BUY!!

    That’s the ad verb I usually see.

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    How many “isolated incidents” do there have to be before you’re willing to say, “Yep, I guess it’s a pattern.”

    Err… I believe what I said was two distinct things. First, stupidity is everywhere and not unique to this country: I’m going to be so bold as to state that stupidity is probably everywhere.

    And that spelling is not indicative of overall intelligence: I have met a lot of people with an embarrassingly weak grasp of the English language, but I have met very few people that did not make up for that deficit with great skills in other areas.

    But, you know, feel free to trust various anecdotal accounts of random acts of stupidity summarized in amusingly misspelled signs. I’ll continue to trust science.

    Ask a European; he’ll tell you they don’t have as many stupid people in Western Europe…

    Central to my point?

  14. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Off topic. Ron – I can apparently only edit my posts one time, then subsequent attemps tell me I don’t have permission. Not a big deal. I just wanted to flesh out a sentence, but it’s not a big deal. :-)

  15. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    I just tested it. It turns out you are correct, even though the countdown timer continues, giving the impression that you can edit it again.

    I checked the control panel. I did not see an option to allow multiple edits within the five minutes. I guess the developer didn’t think that all the way through.

  16. Parrotlover77 Says:

    That’s interesting. On other blogs with the countdown editor, I’ve been able to edit multiple times. I don’t know that this is the same exact plugin, though. Either way, one edit is better than none. :-) I’ll be more diligent (or, more likely, I won’t) in the future.

  17. Jeff Says:

    I think I’ve edited more than once. It may be a cookie thing.

    PL, I think both are entirely relevant.

    (Yep, it just allowed me to edit this twice.)

  18. Jeff Says:

    PL, here’s something. I just received an email from America’s Test Kitchen, the public television program that originates from here in Boston. In fact, their studio is in an old brick building about a mile from my apartment. They’ve just begun a live program on NPR in addition to their TV broadcasts.

    Here’s what Christopher Kimball, the host, had to say, regarding the conversations they’ve had with people who’ve called in:

    What goes on in home kitchens around America is an eye-opener, from the gentleman who substituted shrimp for chicken and then found his recipe “tough” (cooking shrimp for a half-hour will do that) to the woman who called to say that she prayed over her tough biscuits.

    Praying will soften tough baked goods – and these are people who listen to public radio. Imagine what people are like who think that public radio and TV are only for hell-bound lib’ruls.

    People are morons, PL. End of story.

  19. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Your anecdotal account of a woman who prayed over biscuits has sealed it for me. You are right that that single account of a silly act by a single woman in regard to tough shrimp clearly concludes that the entire populace of the human species, with the exception of a small group of people hand-picked by yourself, are morons with no redeemable level of intelligence in any area of life.

    Never mind that nearly every single person on earth and other animals, including you, believes in various superstitions. Never mind that the circuitry in the brain that leads to these incorrect shortcut conclusions is the same circuitry that provides advantageous survival behavior for many animals, including humans.

    Never mind all of that! You have provided an anecdotal account of clear superstitious behavior and therefore people are morons in all aspects of intelligence and problem solving. QED.

  20. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Oops, I meant tough biscuits. But the editor won’t let me edit again. I didn’t even edit one time this time. I don’t have this problem on any other site, so I doubt it’s a cookie issue.

  21. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    I fixed the comment. However, your observation that you are not allowed to edit a second time is merely anecdotal and therefore not true.

  22. Parrotlover77 Says:

    If my comments were meant to be taken as an analysis of whether all installations of this WordPress plugin exhibit the behavior you describe, that would be true. One data point is not enough of a sample to make that assertion. However, my comments were on this one particular instance of this plugin’s installation for one particular instance of a user’s browser.

    In reverse, if Jeff’s comments were simply about one stupid person he met that he has lost faith in, his comments would not be anecdotal, but would instead be evidence. Multiple accounts would indicate a trend. But he’s not. He’s asserting that all (or at least a majority) of humans are stupid, based on the actions of a few and criteria that is hardly rigorous.

    Still, funny. ;-)

  23. Jeff Says:

    No, I’m saying we’re justified in concluding that a large number of people in this country – quite possibly the majority – are of inferior intelligence, and that this is born out by the examples that Ron, myself and others continually bring to the table. Again, each time one of us does, you say, “It’s an isolated incident, and hardly representative.” How many “isolated incidents” are enough? When do we reach critical mass?

    The problem is that you have a nasty streak of optimism.

  24. Draken Says:

    It all went wrong when the first word processor with a spell checker was released. Everybody knows spell checking is best left to witches.

  25. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Jeff – Yes, I do have a nasty streak of optimism.

    Cherry picking idiots from amongst the general populace will never convince me. Now, an intelligence study that uses a random sample of a statistically relevant number of people, on the other hand would.

    Still, the point you made in your most recent comment “large number of people” I would not argue with. The majority? I’d argue with that.

    I am optimistic, yes, but I also draw a line between ignorance and stupidity. You can’t fix stupid, as the saying goes. But ignorance, that can be fixed. With Fox News feeding the ignorance with more ignorance (and stupidity), it will be tough. But I still have a hopey changey hope that it will. If not for this generation, then maybe for the next.

  26. Lindsay Says:

    LOL @ praying over tough biscuits!

    Ok, I can relate a bit to the shrimp thing…us stuck in middle America don’t eat that much seafood, and to be honest when I was about 20 I may have made that mistake. But since we’re in the age of the internet(s) he doesn’t really have an excuse.

    But praying over biscuits is priceless. Next time my lemon meringue pie comes out soupy hopefully the Lord’s Prayer will make it congeal.

  27. Jeff Says:

    PL, here is my response to your optimism:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-16-2010/an-energy-independent-future

  28. Ron Britton Says:

    Parrotlover77

  29. Jeff Says:

    Sure, take his side.

    (Meanwhile, mine was at least funny!)

  30. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Jon Stewart is teh funny.

    But, Jeff, you might notice something interesting… During each of the Democratic presidencies (bonus points to Carter), and even the Republican presidencies before Reagan, we were moving in the right direction on energy independence. But Reagan and the Bushes undid a lot of work and now the oily tea party is also pushing back.

    So how can I remain optimistic in the face of that? Well, first, private industry is actually doing something for a change. The hybrids and all electric vehicles are a reality and are actually pretty good finally. Average families can afford them, which is incredibly important.

    Second, Reaganism and neoconism is waning. Even though they still score political victories for their corporate overlords, they are increasingly looking ridiculous to even the most apathetic voting general populace. I give them ten years tops before neolibertarianism is the dominant conservatism. (It’s still completely misguided, IMHO, but at least you can talk, reason, and compromise with them).

    So yea, go chickens!

  31. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeff:

    Sure, take his side.

    It’s odd that you see it that way. I viewed that comic as representing a blind, unsupportable opinion in the face of all evidence.

  32. Jeff Says:

    During each of the Democratic presidencies (bonus points to Carter), and even the Republican presidencies before Reagan, we were moving in the right direction on energy independence.

    I don’t see it that way at all. What I got out of it (and as best I can recall from those years, although pretty much anything prior to yesterday is a blur), there was a lot of talk, but nothing got done. That’s the way it always is, and always has been, during my lifetime – nothing has ever gotten any better. If change occurs, it only gets worse.

    Second, Reaganism and neoconism is waning. Even though they still score political victories for their corporate overlords, they are increasingly looking ridiculous to even the most apathetic voting general populace.

    Again, I don’t see it that way at all. If anything, the Teabaggers make them seem positively respectable by comparison. As Bill Maher has said, the Democratic party consists of corporate panderers, and the Republican of religious wingnuts and Civil War reenactors. For God’s sake, the Repubs have managed to convince Joe six-pack that they’re the best friends he’ll ever have. How can people that oblivious be expected ever to wake up?

    As far as hybrids are concerned, I think it’s too little, too late – but, yes, the few thousand people who have them can feel good about at least trying to make a difference.

  33. Jeff Says:

    I viewed that comic as representing a blind, unsupportable opinion in the face of all evidence.

    Oh – okay, yeah. That wasn’t what I saw, for some reason, but now that you explain it to me…. I guess that makes me an idiot as well.

    Just to show you I’m not a one-way guy, I now recuse myself from voting and reproducing.

  34. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Jeff – Why haven’t you committed suicide yet? Jesus H. Beiber.

  35. Jeff Says:

    It ain’t as easy as you think.