Capital ignorance at the Plain

My post Gents in St Giles Oxford referred in passing to “the screaming capitals so beloved of officious plonkers in council offices” – the habit of council pen-pushers of beginning words with Capital Letters to Emphasise their Importance. In that case, the capitalisation was the least part of the offensive ignorance shown in the notice in question.

Here is one where the capitals – and the lack of them – is the main point.

Capital ignorance at the Plain, Oxford

The sign advertises the road-works discussed in my post Plain unnecessary works, which are presently paralysing the approach to the city from East Oxford. The words Public Transport appear to warrant capitals. The proper noun, the place name, does not, even though the word, not being obviously the name of a place, must be extremely confusing to a visitor.

You would think that, if they had capital letters to spare, they might have used one for the injunctive part of the message to separate it from the informational part – a capital U for “use” would have made it clear that the last three words are a recommendation consequent on the prior statement. As it is, the assertion that “Major roadworks at the plain use Public Transport” looks more like a crossword clue than a traffic sign.

Unlike many in Oxford, this notice does actually serve a purpose, or should do so. A sign which leaves the passing visitor scratching his head is as useless as the council officers (presumably the little drones of Oxfordshire County Council) who put it there.

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About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in Oxford, Oxford Streets, Oxford Visitors, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxfordshire Highways, Signs and Notices, The Plain, Transport. Bookmark the permalink.

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