0781: "Ahead Stop"

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project2051
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby project2051 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:27 pm UTC

Is this actually an engineer problem or perhaps a bureaucrat problem?

Here in Michigan I almost never see print on the road surface, other than turn arrows (and sometime the addition of the word "only" if you could go straight, but are not suppose to), stop lines and school zone and railroad crossings. The school zones just have the word "school" and the railroad just has the double RR symbol. Of course in the winter with snow cover and road salt crust, snow plow scraping them and such road surface placarding tends to get hard to see relatively soon. And we're seeing more and more pictographs only signs, as well as roundabouts.
Last edited by project2051 on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:16 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:03 pm UTC

HermanBlount wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:"Every time someone designs something idiot proof, Nature makes a better idiot."

-written on the chalkboard my first day of class for civil engineering.


So, the first thing they teach civil engineers is a superiority complex? Or is that simply a prerequisite?


Usually a prerequisite - though its only because we are, in fact, better than everyone. We're certainly smarter than anthropologists, and don't even get me started on the computational linguistics people!*


And I think that the comment of RPN is brilliant.


*sarcasm, just in case people didn't notice.
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:47 pm UTC

unus vox wrote:
SirMustapha wrote:It doesn't matter anyway: if you just stuck to writing the words in the "correct" order, Randall would still make an obnoxious, patronising comic complaining about it and his readers would agree and go "GET OUT OF MY HEAD" like never before. It's the need to feel superior.


And, in an equal need to feel superior, people who didn't like the comic would still proclaim their dissenting opinion in a smug and degrading way, claiming that said comic's creator and fans are somehow inferior due differences in senses of humor.


Nobody here is claiming said author and fans are "inferior". Arrogant, smug and self-absorbed, yes, but not inferior.

Sense of humour. Yeah, right: it seems xkcd ceased to be about humor to be about validation and patronising quite a while ago.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Xias » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:48 pm UTC

Soultaker~ wrote:
Xias wrote:Sheesh, all the engineer bashing.

It's just questioning the effectiveness of a common practice. How is that "engineer bashing"?


If I'm not mistaken, the point of the comic (and most of the posts in this thread) has been to say "Highway engineers don't have as much common sense as me!"

Soultaker~ wrote:The point is that if you can see the whole text at once, reversing the lines is not just "unnecessary", but it's actually very confusing, because the majority of people will attempt to read the text top to bottom. The reverse order might be easier to read if you can't see the whole thing at once, but it's confusing when you can. The normal order is more intuitive to read when you can view it as a whole, but harder to read if you can only see it partly. That's a trade-off.


Except it's easier to get used to reading things upside-down/reversed than it is to read something correctly that is blocked from view in some way. That's why it IS necessary. You could have a situation where non-ideal circumstances make it impossible to know what's going on, or where there's a momentary inconvenience during ideal circumstances. I'd take that latter when it comes to several-ton vehicles driving at lethal speeds.

asliceofpi wrote:Also, most of the places where I see the "AHEAD STOP" message are on roads where you've been going at a steady pace for a while and need something to indicate that they cannot continue that pace. On roads like that, you're typically not seeing a lot of traffic; otherwise, the stop would be really obvious based on the cars in front of you. Similarly, pedestrian crossings show up most frequently in neighborhoods, which aren't terribly busy in terms of car traffic.

The intent is sensible. But then there's reality. ;)


In reality there are things like darkness, fog, rain, and inconvenient flora blocking your view sometimes. Say you are driving on an empty street in a residential area where the speed limit is low (~25mph). What if there's a tree blocking the stop sign, and it's night time, and your headlights are correctly aligned (so they are pointing toward the ground rather than level with your vehicle). You won't see the words further away until after you see the words closer to you.

This isn't a matter of what's intuitive to read. It's a matter of making it so that in ANY situation, be it traffic, nighttime, or a surprise rainstorm, you can read the writing on the road.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby anrieff » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:05 pm UTC

Second driving/highway related comic in a row... I would guess that Randall has wasted a lot of time in driving recently. :)

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:07 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Arrogant, smug and self-absorbed, yes, but not inferior.
I resent that remark! I'm not self-absorbed, I'm absorbent damnit! There's a difference! I soak up fifteen times as much liquid as the leading paper towel!
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:43 pm UTC

chrth wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:I wouldn't even call it idiot-proofing. More like "Unfamiliar driver" proofing.


I didn't write that, Karilyn wrote that in response to me. (Incidentally I once did the same thing with one of her(?) posts... Karilyn, are you cursed to have your quotes misattributed to other people?)
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Karilyn » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:47 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Karilyn, are you cursed to have your quotes misattributed to other people?)

The things I say are so brilliant, everyone wants to plagiarize me.
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby bmonk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:57 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:"Every time someone designs something idiot proof, Nature makes a better idiot."

-written on the chalkboard my first day of class for civil engineering.

I've also seen this version:

"Nothing can be made foolproof, because fools are so ingenious."
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby chefmonkey » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:57 pm UTC

tjunction wrote:The rest of the world copes just fine without roads and roadsigns as wordy as those you Americans have.


Really? So the signs in France that read "VOUS N'AVEZ PAS LA PRIORITÉ" are less wordy than the U.S. "YIELD" signs?

Oh, wait. I forgot that "The United Kingdom" == "The rest of the world." I think you've put your foot in the "Thick Fog in Channel – Europe Isolated" syndrome.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:16 pm UTC

HermanBlount wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:"Every time someone designs something idiot proof, Nature makes a better idiot."

-written on the chalkboard my first day of class for civil engineering.


So, the first thing they teach civil engineers is a superiority complex? Or is that simply a prerequisite?


It's not saying "hey look, other people are idiots, we're better than them, ha ha".

It's saying "Caution: Idiots exist, and are frequently much more idiotic than you would expect." You may be one of them. (Not you personally, but the intended reader of that adage).

It's like, in one of my early philosophy classes we were once given the advice to assume that the readers of our essays would be "stupid, lazy, and mean"; so stupid that they won't understand what you say right away, so lazy that they won't put in the effort to try to understand it, and so mean that when they inevitably misunderstand it it will be in the way that puts you in the absolute worst possible light.

The point of this advice was not to make philosophy students feel good about themselves compared to the readers of their essays (who are, in most cases at that stage, their professors), nor was it to encourage the students to condescend to their readers. It was to encourage them to write so clearly that even a really stupid, lazy, and mean reader would understand them.

Likewise, the adage in civil engineering (and plenty of other fields too) about Nature always making better idiots. It's not to make the engineer feel superior or condescend to the users of his designs; it's to encourage him to make his designs so well-designed that even the most idiotic of idiots would be able to use them, and to encourage them to think of all the many, many ways that someone could "be an idiot" and misunderstand or misuse the design, and plan for that.
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Edrees » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:18 pm UTC

HAHAHA I laughed really hard at this. I always thought the same thing! Especially because I always read it as "Ahead Stop" every single time. This is hilarious.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby unus vox » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:23 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Nobody here is claiming said author and fans are "inferior". Arrogant, smug and self-absorbed, yes, but not inferior.


We can get into the semantic difference between inferiority vs. undesirable qualities, but in the end, is the outcome of your message not the same? It's an insult. You be dissin' on ma homeboys and I gotta represent.

Sense of humour. Yeah, right: it seems xkcd ceased to be about humor to be about validation and patronising quite a while ago.


I don't know how to say this without coming off as insulting (and thus hypocritical), but whatever: lighten up, man. If you think these comics--relative to all comics and comedy in general--are smug and patronizing, I dare say you need to pay better attention. In terms of attitude, XKCD has an extraordinarily tame tone. Though it does occasionally deal with subjects that are more academic than other comics, and it's not uncommon for some to view that as inherently pretentious and masturbatory. Then again, the comic's subtext is
A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

So I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised by sarcastic quips pertaining to math and language.

But regardless of all that, there is such a prominent niche in the comedy world that revolves around picking out the idiosyncrasies in society and making light of them. Is it really that pretentious to joke about the way text is ordered on the road? It's probably a lot less inflammatory than the cracks about religion, politics, race, sexuality, obesity, and whatever other personal preference comics tend to ridicule. Society is not perfect, and until it is, it's only expected that we make light of its imperfections. I don't see this as pretentious; I see this as human.
Last edited by unus vox on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby BioTube » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:27 pm UTC

finlay wrote:But the UK's version of that is even wordier!
Image
Granted, it's a temporary one, but still.
Where I come from, the signs have exactly two words: "SLOW" and "STOP". Of course, they're on poles held by a couple of workers, but still.
And yes, I've never seen this either. I was wondering WTF he was talking about and whether this was actually standard practice in the US – because it seems a bit odd to me. The other one is the abbreviation XING, which we never use.
I see this all the time - which is really crazy, since the roads that have them are very unlikely to be congested enough to need it(it's still a technically rural county).
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Soultaker~ » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:29 pm UTC

Xias wrote:Except it's easier to get used to reading things upside-down/reversed than it is to read something correctly that is blocked from view in some way.

Wow, seriously? You think it's easy to get used to reading stuff bottom-to-top on the road while 99,99% (really!) of all other stuff that you read all day (and everything written on signs around the same road, I might add) is written top-to-bottom? Do you think it's realistic to think that even the slightest minority of the population will ever get anywhere near as used to reading bottom-to-top as top-to-bottom?

This isn't a matter of what's intuitive to read. It's a matter of making it so that in ANY situation, be it traffic, nighttime, or a surprise rainstorm, you can read the writing on the road.

Again, it's a trade-off. Is it really absolutely better to confuse people in 99% of the situations so that your messages are readable in 1% of situations too?

To add insult to injury, the messages on the road aren't even of critical importance. They're probably the first to be ignored in bad driving conditions. That's why really important stuff like stop signs and traffic lights are put above/besides the road and are illuminated.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby bmonk » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:04 pm UTC

Another problem with wordy signs: as signs multiply, get more text, and bigger, they begin to crowd out one another, so that none make the impact they should. One example, not by any means the worst: http://gregisenblog.com/wp-content/uplo ... -signs.jpg
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:06 pm UTC

Soultaker~ wrote:To add insult to injury, the messages on the road aren't even of critical importance. They're probably the first to be ignored in bad driving conditions. That's why really important stuff like stop signs and traffic lights are put above/besides the road and are illuminated.


AHEAD
OUT
BRIDGE
CAUTION
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby The1exile » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:09 pm UTC

SocialSceneRepairman wrote:Never mind that - they were humming the Star Wars theme in 1973?

epoch fail.
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby cream wobbly » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:07 am UTC

cptjeff wrote:Stop
Ahead

Really that much of a pain to read?

But really, I suspect it's yet another of those "makes sense to engineers but completely ignores human context" deals.


See, in Britain this is a non-issue, because they've managed to distill the intent of the message "There is a place ahead where you must stop." into one word: "SLOW".

And those other ones? Like "There is a school ahead so you must go slow to avoid killing children."? One word: "SCHOOL".

Or "No left turn from this lane, mateylot."? That's a left arrow with a line through it.

Have a read.

It also has the interesting side effect that non-English speakers know what the floop you're talking about. Sheesh.

I live in Tucson, and I-19 has distances explicitly marked in kilometers, but speeds are just given as "55", or "65". So you see a Sonora plate, and they're either going 37.5% slower than you, or the driver thinks he's speeding by 60%. It's a border town. Why are the speed limits not marked in Km/H too? Not in the interest of pandering to filthy forriners, but in the interests of not, y'know, dying in a pile up.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby adaviel » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:51 am UTC

"ahead stop" makes total sense driving a military armored car, looking through a small slit in a steel plate. Or in stop-go traffic that uncovers one word at a time for 300ms each. By the time you have decoded it, as others have pointed out, it's way too late. Clearly the next bit of road should say "one last the missed you if yards 50 in right turn"

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby BytEfLUSh » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:32 am UTC

I *really* had a hard time reading this backwards, while drunk. Didn't get it.
Then this thread opened my eyes - I shouldn't overcomplicate it... damn, all that effort for nothing... :)


P.S. I've heard of Star Wars, it's a movie, right? :D
Image

Image

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Death By Furon » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:47 am UTC

The1exile wrote:
SocialSceneRepairman wrote:Never mind that - they were humming the Star Wars theme in 1973?

epoch fail.


Yeah, well he realized it was wrong. It reads 1977 now.

Anyway, I think this is his best effort in a while, which is kind of sad. I miss the old days, were each new comic was an instant classic.
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby VHBT » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:10 am UTC

User? What User? wrote:Also, contrary to Randall's (apparent) belief, simply stating a view that your readers are likely to share in graphic form is not the same thing as drawing a comic. It's not funny, and even if it were the 'humour' is derived purely from the reader thinking: "oh yeah, I've seen road signs, too, and dash it all if the text isn't written backward; therefore get out of my head Randall you comic genius."

I do not share the view that "highway engineers think I read backward." I doubt that Randall shares the view that "highway engineers think [he] reads backward." Randall did not "simply" state the view that "highway engineers think [he] reads backward," and the humor isn't derived purely from the fact that the comic refers to text on real-life roads.

To explain:
I understand that the text is meant to be read as it comes into view, not once it's entirely in view (I don't really agree with the arrangement, but that's beside the point). I also imagine that Randall understands the same. He's not stating a belief that he holds; he's making fun of something for being less than perfect.
Also, Randall did quite a bit more than "simply stating a view." He presented it as text on a road, with the order of the lines reversed. Obviously this didn't impress you that much, but it is a huge step up from writing a sentence in plain text.
The humor doesn't come from the fact that he's complaining about something; it comes from the fact that he's complaining about something in a way that demonstrates - and exaggerates - the problem. The extra time it takes to parse the sentence, and the way it has to be read in order to be parsed, are the reason it's funny. The content of the sentence is important as well, but it's not enough to make the comic funny (as you have said).

It's ok if you didn't enjoy this; I think it's somewhat funny, but I can understand if you don't. What I don't like is the fact that you attempt to make the joke sound less funny than it is by describing it as dryly as possible.
In short, if you don't think something's funny, feel free to say so, but don't try to convince others that they shouldn't find it funny.
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby ersatz_read » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:13 am UTC

"Ahead stop" was a source of some confusion for me as a kid.
I hypothesized they were trying to compensate for extremely nearsighted drivers.
Which just raised further questions.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby jslewitz » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:15 am UTC

1973 ABY?

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Dexomega » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:16 am UTC

michael24easilybored wrote:Dear XKCD writer. Have you considered that highway engineers might just know a few things about how people read road signs that you don't? Maybe, just maybe, it is easier for drivers to read road markings that are painted that way. Have you actually carried out and investigations into how people read best when trying to concentrate on the road? Stop assuming other people are all wrong.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Vrishna » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:01 am UTC

mheney wrote:Yep - Randall seems to have corrected the title text.


I guess this renders my assumption wrong. What a pity - an unreliable narrator would have been such a nice idea.
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Mithorium » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:15 am UTC

Arent the words usually spaced out far enough that you only see one line at a time, thereby making you read them in the correct order?
Image
I would definately have my attention attracted to the STOP before the AHEAD in this case for example

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Ghandi 2 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:39 am UTC

Holy shit the formatting on this is so bad, it took me forever to figure out what he meant because of the misplaced I.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Xias » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:05 am UTC

Soultaker~ wrote:
Xias wrote:Except it's easier to get used to reading things upside-down/reversed than it is to read something correctly that is blocked from view in some way.

Wow, seriously? You think it's easy to get used to reading stuff bottom-to-top on the road while 99,99% (really!) of all other stuff that you read all day (and everything written on signs around the same road, I might add) is written top-to-bottom? Do you think it's realistic to think that even the slightest minority of the population will ever get anywhere near as used to reading bottom-to-top as top-to-bottom?


Yes. I think it is easier to get over the momentary confusion that a new driver encounters when seeing something written from bottom to top than it is to read something top to bottom if the top half is obscured in some way until you have already passed the bottom part. I'm not saying "It is easy" (though it really is). I'm saying "It is easier than the alternative."

This isn't a matter of what's intuitive to read. It's a matter of making it so that in ANY situation, be it traffic, nighttime, or a surprise rainstorm, you can read the writing on the road.

Again, it's a trade-off. Is it really absolutely better to confuse people in 99% of the situations so that your messages are readable in 1% of situations too?


Reversed-text is not so confusing as to convey the wrong message or cause traffic accidents for being misunderstood. Most, if not all, surface messages are only two or three lines that are simple enough to work out. "AHEAD STOP" "TURN LEFT NO" and such are all easy enough to rearrange in your head within less than a second, and that's the first time you see it. This "The majority of the time it's confusing" argument is unfounded based on that alone. Not only that, but if you think that night time, rainy weather, foggy weather, or dense traffic accounts for only 1% of all driving, you'd be sorely mistaken.

To add insult to injury, the messages on the road aren't even of critical importance. They're probably the first to be ignored in bad driving conditions. That's why really important stuff like stop signs and traffic lights are put above/besides the road and are illuminated.


"Signs and lights are illuminated"

Do you even drive at night? LIGHTS are illuminated because they are LIGHTS. And traffic lights are pretty much limited to stop lights at intersections. Signs are not illuminated, only reflective of your own headlights. That doesn't help if it's around a sharp turn or if they are obscured by trees or fog.

And have you ever driven in an unfamiliar area? I just moved to a large city with many freeway interchanges and dedicated lanes and one-way streets that I'm not familiar with. And during rush hour, sometimes I might miss a sign because some dickhead decided to cut across 4 lanes without using his blinker. And I'm pretty damn thankful for the "TURN LEFT NO" when there was a car 10 feet ahead of me and I turned my left blinker on in preparation for the coming intersection.

1. The way it is now accounts for any possible situation, any possible driver, any possible highway configuration.
2. They work with signs, not as a replacement. Generally the application of a sign takes place at the point the sign is located, so the road text is there to prepare you ahead of time. You see the road text, and it gets you ready for when you see the sign.
3. This isn't something that a couple people sitting around a table thought up in a few minutes. Traffic is a huge section of study. State Highway Patrols aren't just cops, they have entire teams and departments devoted to studying every aspect of traffic, from pedestrian to motorcycle, from residential areas to freeways, right down to individual intersections. They keep records of every accident in the last 30+ years in a computer database that they use in their studies. EVERYONE makes jokes about this kind of thing, EVERYONE notices that it's confusing. But it's still being done because it works better than the alternative. You saying "I'm smart enough to do without it" isn't quite as loud as the number of accidents that would happen if they stopped using this procedure.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Eternal Density » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:25 am UTC

The one I'm most familiar with is:
LANE
ONE
FORM
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Karilyn » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:11 am UTC

cream wobbly wrote:See, in Britain this is a non-issue, because they've managed to distill the intent of the message "There is a place ahead where you must stop." into one word: "SLOW".

And those other ones? Like "There is a school ahead so you must go slow to avoid killing children."? One word: "SCHOOL".

Or "No left turn from this lane, mateylot."? That's a left arrow with a line through it.

Do you REALLY think that's what our signs say? REALLY? REALLY?!?!?! I hope you aren't that stupid.

Spoiler alert: Our signs are the same as yours. These are the standard, most common signs for "No left hand turn", "Slow", and "School Zone"
Spoiler:
ImageImage
Image

LE GASP

Hell, even the one most people were making fun of... "Stop Here On Red" ... Makes perfect sense in context. It means "Stop here instead of at the intersection" As you can see in this picture, the sign is indicating that you should stop about 10-20 meters before the actual intersection. Because if you don't, you'll be impeding pedestrians, and if you are in the left hand lane, you are risking being clipped by people turning past you.
Gelsamel wrote:If you punch him in the face repeatedly then it's science.

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SirMustapha
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby SirMustapha » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:49 pm UTC

VHBT wrote:The humor doesn't come from the fact that he's complaining about something; it comes from the fact that he's complaining about something in a way that demonstrates - and exaggerates - the problem. The extra time it takes to parse the sentence, and the way it has to be read in order to be parsed, are the reason it's funny. The content of the sentence is important as well, but it's not enough to make the comic funny (as you have said).


There's a detail, though: the actual "cleverness" of the comic has a sudden, immediate impact, but the content that really stays afterwards is what the author was trying to say. It's the aftertaste, and if the aftertaste is rotten, then it doesn't help to dump tons of sugar on the joke to sweeten the initial flavour. The message being delivered here is stale, and I have to agree with the (satirical) xkcdexplained site:

It is his hope that the prevalence of this often-noticed oddity will send shockwaves of “agreement chuckles” through our nation.

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littlelj
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby littlelj » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:17 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Hell, even the one most people were making fun of... "Stop Here On Red" ... Makes perfect sense in context. It means "Stop here instead of at the intersection" As you can see in this picture, the sign is indicating that you should stop about 10-20 meters before the actual intersection. Because if you don't, you'll be impeding pedestrians, and if you are in the left hand lane, you are risking being clipped by people turning past you. /URL removed/


Do you have road markings showing where you should stop normally? We have the alternatives of a solid white line across the road (meaning stop, used where there is a stop sign or traffic lights etc) or dashed white line (meaning give way). So you always know where you are supposed to stop.

This is useful where there are, for example, sensors on the lights working out what the sequence of priorities should be. If you don't drive right up to the line but without driving over it, the sensor won't know you're waiting.
Dudes, I'm a woman.

dp2
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby dp2 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:31 pm UTC

Mithorium wrote:Arent the words usually spaced out far enough that you only see one line at a time, thereby making you read them in the correct order?
Image
I would definately have my attention attracted to the STOP before the AHEAD in this case for example

Thank you for showing how this really works instead of the 40-feet-in-the-air perspective the comic shows.

I get the joke, ha, pretty funny. Satire is funnier when it's rooted in reality.

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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Frankincell » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:33 pm UTC

Just a quick note, buried deep in a thread to let you know that I just discovered your site a few days ago and love the comics. :D
I did however just realized that if you hover over the comic.. a comment appears... :oops:
I guess I get to go through them all again and read the comment... Woot! :wink:
Thanks for everything you do.
--Frankincell

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Karilyn
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Karilyn » Thu Aug 19, 2010 6:38 pm UTC

littlelj wrote:
Karilyn wrote:Hell, even the one most people were making fun of... "Stop Here On Red" ... Makes perfect sense in context. It means "Stop here instead of at the intersection" As you can see in this picture, the sign is indicating that you should stop about 10-20 meters before the actual intersection. Because if you don't, you'll be impeding pedestrians, and if you are in the left hand lane, you are risking being clipped by people turning past you. /URL removed/

Do you have road markings showing where you should stop normally? We have the alternatives of a solid white line across the road (meaning stop, used where there is a stop sign or traffic lights etc) or dashed white line (meaning give way). So you always know where you are supposed to stop.

We have the solid line too (I don't think we have a dashed line that performs the function you named), but the lines aren't always easy to see when it's raining, snowing, or at night. Especially when it's raining heavily enough to leave standing water on the road.
Spoiler:
Image


This is useful where there are, for example, sensors on the lights working out what the sequence of priorities should be. If you don't drive right up to the line but without driving over it, the sensor won't know you're waiting.
I hate these things, with a passion, forever. They always seem to fail on me at the worst times. I don't know where the goddamn sensors are, but they never seem to recognize the existence of my car, even when I'm at the line.
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existentialpanda
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby existentialpanda » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:56 pm UTC

Mithorium wrote:Arent the words usually spaced out far enough that you only see one line at a time, thereby making you read them in the correct order?
Image
I would definately have my attention attracted to the STOP before the AHEAD in this case for example


I personally have never seen them that far apart, but that's just me.

JustMe wrote:Am I the only one that reads "Automatic CAUTION Doors" at every store entrance?


I do this too! :D

hypermetabolic
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby hypermetabolic » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:22 pm UTC

HERE | HERE
STOP | STOP

Abecedarius
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Re: "Ahead Stop" discussion (#781)

Postby Abecedarius » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:50 pm UTC

"They actually started the reversed-text practice in 1973 -- not for ease-of-reading reasons, but because too many people were driving backward down the highway blasting the Star Wars opening theme."

Wait, they started the reversed-text because people were using it like the Star Wars intro? Wouldn't it be that they started it and then people started doing it?

Unless I'm just reading it wrong...


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