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Old August 30th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #761
piotr71
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Austria - exit 19.

image hosted on flickr

IMGP1203 by 71piotr, on Flickr

-----

There are two British signs making me doubtful in grammatical skills of those who designed them:

Pedestrian crossing and Customer toilets.

I am not proficient in English but I would rather say:

Pedestrians' crossing or Pedestrians are crossing or if they meant just one human being Pedestrian's crossing.

Am I right?
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Old August 30th, 2012, 10:19 PM   #762
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"Pedestrian crossing" and "customer toilets" work in U.S. English.* The grammatical explanation is probably something like the noun "pedestrian" is being used as an adjective; "pedestrian crossing" is short for "crossing for pedestrians."

*British English of a few generations ago, I'm not so sure about. British English seems to be being subtly Americanized these days. In fact, I think Brits would have said "foot-passenger" a century ago; "pedestrian" was an American word.

EDIT: But I can't read your Austrian sign.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 10:47 PM   #763
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There is English word 'exit' instead of typical Austrian 'aufahrt' icon on motorway's exiting board.

The weather was not perfect that day therefore photo-pictures made back then are not high quality. Hopefully this one is readable:

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IMGP1061 by 71piotr, on Flickr
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Old August 31st, 2012, 12:20 AM   #764
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Pedestrian crossing? Thats fairly normal in British English too.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 12:37 AM   #765
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I thought it was, but didn't want to speak for the Brits; there are cases where I've heard them use plurals that sound strange to me ("drinks tray" where I'd say "drink tray"....)

Of course, Piotr did see these signs in Britain....
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Old September 1st, 2012, 12:59 PM   #766
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Pedestrian crossing is a common term in English as its a designated area for pedestrians to cross a road in safety. There are three in Britain - zebra, pelican & puffin.

I've never heard of 'customer toilets' before but I would imagine its a derivative of 'toilets are for customers use only' which is quite common signage in pubs and some shops.

Last edited by Fatfield; September 1st, 2012 at 01:05 PM.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 02:25 PM   #767
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
"Pedestrian crossing" and "customer toilets" work in U.S. English.* The grammatical explanation is probably something like the noun "pedestrian" is being used as an adjective; "pedestrian crossing" is short for "crossing for pedestrians."

*British English of a few generations ago, I'm not so sure about. British English seems to be being subtly Americanized these days. In fact, I think Brits would have said "foot-passenger" a century ago; "pedestrian" was an American word.
The OED has evidence of pedestrian as a person who walks in British English as far back as 1742

Anyway, I think you are right about the adjectival usage. "Pedestrians' crossing" sounds very strange to me as a BE native speaker, as does "customers' toilets". I think adjectives are used in such circumstances, e.g. "Staff entrance", "Student services" etc.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 03:23 PM   #768
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If I could find my copy of Fowler's Modern English Usage...,

I read about the foot-passenger bit probably a couple of decades ago in a book that was already old (possibly Fowler), so I may be mistaken.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 04:40 PM   #769
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
If I could find my copy of Fowler's Modern English Usage...,

I read about the foot-passenger bit probably a couple of decades ago in a book that was already old (possibly Fowler), so I may be mistaken.
The only time I have heard it used is on ferries. Very interesting though.
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Old September 1st, 2012, 09:52 PM   #770
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South Tyrol (Südtirol/Alto Adige)



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Old September 2nd, 2012, 12:01 PM   #771
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In that last sign seems that Cortina d'Ampezzo is outside Italy, as is further away than the border.
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 12:45 PM   #772
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I was there when teenager and... obviously is a town to point in every motorway even if a lot of kilometres from there.

It really seems to be far away, but just only in a different direction
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Old September 5th, 2012, 03:51 AM   #773
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http://www.panoramio.com/photo/74995407
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Old September 5th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seem View Post
Pedestrian crossing? Thats fairly normal in British English too.
I can understand that pedestrians cross the street at a pedestrian crossing. But what happens at zebra, pelican, toucan and puffin crossings?

Last edited by MattiG; September 5th, 2012 at 12:16 PM.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #775
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Interesting that Trst in Italian language has 3 vowels and in Slovenian/Serbo-Croatian none we have a few words with no vowels with wich people from western europe have big difficulties to spell them
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Old September 5th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #776
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Latin languages usually have words with a lot of vowels.

Could seem easier to speak, but some time, long words could be confusing for someone who does not know the language
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Old September 5th, 2012, 02:07 PM   #777
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Germanic languages also have a tendency to form very long combined words, making them hard to understand for foreigners like Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsmütze or rörelseuppskattningssökintervallsinställningar
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Old September 5th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #778
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Yes, especially Germans put everything together. Great Britain is Großbritanien.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 02:26 PM   #779
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattiG View Post
I can understand that pedestrians cross the street at a pedestrian crossing. But what happens at zebra, pelican, toucan and puffin crossings?
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Old September 5th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #780
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I believe(and many of my friends to) that at least in Bulgaria all road signs should be in Bulgarian and in English only, no Latin, no French or German.
It ridiculous right now, we have sings in Sofia- Center,Centre,Centrum for the city center. It's a lot easy to sign everything in English, like in airport or subway.
Another complication is Latin transliteration of names like Sofiya .In all maps,road atlas,airports etc. is written Sofia. Its so easy to keep everything in English.
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