Thursday, February 21, 2013

Don't Look Now, But Your Modifier is Dangling

This might be one of those things that only I find funny, but I'll share it anyway. Check out the sign that recently appeared on the men's room door at my work:

 I swear this is an actual photo, unaltered, and that I did not make up the sign. Apparently, the janitors did.
I'll promise to heed this request and wait until I'm all done being cleaned before using the restroom. Although, that seems like kind of a backwards approach--shouldn't we do our thing in there first, and then get cleaned? Wait a second... who's being cleaned around here, and even more puzzling, who is doing that cleaning?! And WHERE are they doing it, if not in the restroom, forpetesake?!!

I think they meant for us to keep out while the ROOM is cleaned, but just to be sure, I'll stay away when either the room or my body is having anything done to it.

Now, here's the part Paul Harvey would have called The Rest of the Story. I noticed that sign a few days ago and thought I should share it with the world (in case anyone else gets a kick out of this kind of thing). Today I remembered to take my camera to work, so I returned to that restroom, hoping the sign would still be up. On my way there, I saw a similar sign on the ladies' room:

Also a real, unaltered photo

This brings up some questions, like Why is the ladies' sign so much nicer? Do they really deserve a prettier restroom sign, in this age when we are supposed to be striving for equality? Also, since this one is worded more clearly (to us English majors, at least), is there really an error on the other one? Maybe it reads just as intended. I guess it's not important. After thinking about it for a while, dangling modifiers are really no big deal.


  1. I also wonder why they felt it necessary to highlight, underline and italicize the womens room message.
    I know my wife is much more observant than me for this kind of thing (everything actually).

    Maybe hte sign writer is a mysogynist...

    1. Highlighting, underlining, italics... and three (count 'em!) exclamation points. It's like they want the ladies to know they are really serious about this.