This collection of signs has been compiled from a variety of sources, some second or third hand, so I have no way of being sure they are all genuine. That need not detract from our amusement, because they all could be true and some certainly are. I shall add more as I come across them and have time to update the page.
Seen by my sister in a patients' toilet in a Scottish hospital, April 2005:
"Toilet paper only to be put down the toilet"
For the benefit of those who may not be sure, the placing of the word "only" is a common cause of ambiguity and error in English. In this case it is actually saying that nothing else may be done with the paper, such as taking it home (for re-use?) or even using for its intended purpose. They probably intended to say "Only toilet paper to be put down the toilet", and probably actually meant that no unsuitable material such as paper hand towels, babies disposable napkins or women's sanitary towels should be put down, but even the amended wording would seem to prohibit putting the normally intended waste matter down there - you should presumably go on the floor and put only the paper down the toilet!
Another one seen by my sister, this time on the menu at a motorway service station on the M6 motorway, March 2005:
"Today's hot pudding - chocolate pudding and ice cream"
Hot ice cream is certainly a novelty, but will it catch on?
A Swiss mountain inn took a quite different approach with:
"Special today - no ice cream"
In a guest directory in a Japanese hotel:
"You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid"
Unfortunately I don't know which hotel it was
An advertising slogan as translated into Chinese:
"Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave;
The original English version said "Pepsi Comes Alive"
Sign erected in Tokyo when MacArthur was considering running for USA President:
"We pray for MacArthur's erection"
Sign in a Norwegian cocktail bar:
"Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar"
Sign in a tailor's on the Greek island of Rhodes:
"Order your summer suit. Because of big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation"
A Copenhagen airline ticket chose a different way of deterring customers with:
"We take your bags and send them in all directions"
A Swiss restaurant menu took another approach:
"Our wines leave you nothing to hope for"
A Bucharest hotel relied on a simple insult:
"The lift is being fixed. During that time we regret you will be unbearable"
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