Saturday, July 07, 2012

Wait! Walk!

For a couple of years now I've been chuckling over the talking wait and walk signs at the corner of Regent and West Wash - they say things like "Washington. The walk sign is ON to cross Washington," but what's funny (to the easily amused linguist, anyway) is that they say it with a very lovely Wisconsin accent.
Today there's an article in the NYT about the same thing in New York - except of course they have a NY accent!  Who says regional accents are dying out?!
On a related note, when we were in Jinan, China, I really liked it that the walk signs didn't have a static figure of a person walking - they had an animated figure of a person RUNNING!  And that was indeed the only way you could get across a street, even with the light...

1 comment:

Mike Koplow said...

There's a talking traffic signal at 55th and Lake Park in Chicago. It says something like "go 55th St." or "go Lake Park Ave." It's ambiguous, unlike the ones you describe. To me, "go 55th St." means 55th has a green light, but what it really means is "go ahead and cross 55th. Of course, being able to see helped me fig this out.