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My mom and I use to go to the Outlet every weekend. We were on our way and went down a one-way road when I saw a sign that said "NO OUTLET". I said "mom, this isn't the right way ,see there's no outlet store".
In some places in America, they have an 'End Construction' sign to let drivers know that it was the end of the stretch of roadwork. When I was a child, I thought it meant that they were constructing an end to the road somewhere down the line. I always wanted my parents to keep driving until we could see where they were building the end of the road, but to my frustation,they never seemed to know what I meant.
It took an embarassingly long time for me to figure out what it really meant - but that was probably helped by the fact the road department never got around to taking to sign down for several months after the roadwork was finished.
When I was little, I'd be in the car with my mom, and I'd see these signs all over town that had a little stick-man with the red "NO" symbol over him and it said, "No Ped X-ing" When I was little, I had no idea what it meant. In my head, I would wonder, "No Ped Zing?"
When first arriving in Australia as a young boy I used to see signs on the roadside stating "Caution: Road Plant Ahead"
I had no idea what it meant as I never spotted any plants causing a problem. I did sometimes see some road works which I guessed where needed as plants had damaged the road.
It was only much later that I learnt that the term plant was used for roadworking machinery.
When I was a wee lass, I thought that the big blue and white "H" signs on the side of the road indicated the burial place of a famous horse. It of course leads you to a hospital.
When I was about 11, My grandparents took me on a trip with them, along the way we passed a "DO NOT PASS" sign, my Papa said "DONUT PASS", for years, I pictured a donut shop with about fifty police cars parked all around it. Hey, I can't help it if I'm a slow reader!
We used to travel alot when I was growing up. I remember every time we came to a draw bridge sign, my parents would yell, Hurry and draw a bridge, before we cross. I never could find paper and pencil in time. I used to think it would open up when we were halfway accross and swallow us up.
When I was a kid, we visited Italy once. I noticed that in every city we visited, there were signs pointing to "Senso Unico", which I surmised must be some important building each city had, like a city hall. It never dawned on me to ask my parents what it was. So at one point we were in some small city in Tuscany, and my parents decided to hang around in a cafe, so my sister and I decided to go exploring the town. We took it upon ourselves to go and find the Senso Unico. The signs showing the way to the Senso Unico seemed to lead us all over the place, and eventually we ended up where we started. We gave up.
When we got back, we told our parents about the failed quest. It was then that we learned "Senso Unico" is Italian for "One Way"!
When I was a kid I asked my Dad about the cautionary road sign that said "Watch for Ice on Bridge". Dad told me that every so often the people form the local radio station would place a block of ice on a bridge and if you called in to the radio station and reported it before the ice melted you would win a prize.
You know how highways have turn-around lanes between opposing traffic for emergency vehicles to use? They also almost always have a sign that says "Violators will be prosecuted." Being a little kid, I thought that was the same as "Violators will be executed." It didn't help matters when I asked my dad, "They wouldn't really prosecute them, would they?" And my dad said, "You bet they would!"
When I was young(er) and stupid(er), I thought that when there was a street sign with an arrow pointing up, that it refered to cars actually going up, instead of forward.
I asked my parents why so many roads in California were named after the Prime Minister of Israel (at the time, Menachem Begin). I had observed that almost every freeway we drove on was marked by a big sign saying "Begin Freeway".
I believed that the road sign meaning 'road narrows' meant be careful because there are glass bottles littered on the road ahead. I believed that the sign meaning 'end of speed restriction' was reminding you to wear your seatbelt (white circle with black diagonal line). And I also believed that 'soft verge' meant that there was a roadside fruit and veg stall coming up soon.
When driving downtown one day, my four-year old daughter was mentioned that it was a good thing she didn't have to go pee because I had parked right by a building with no bathrooms. I was confused until she showed me the sign with a large P and a slash through it (No Parking).
WHEN I WAS YOUNGER I USED TO BELIEVE THAT THE CATS EYES IN THE ROAD WERE ACTUALLY GLOW IN THE DARK CRYSTALS. I WAS GOING TO BUY A HOUSE NEAR A MAIN ROAD AND DIG THEM UP AT NIGHT TO LIGHT UP MY ROOM. IT WAS A SAD DAY WHEN I FOUND OUT THEY WERE ONLY REFLECTORS.
I used to believe that the lines on roads were for motorcycles to drive on.
by seeing long line marked centre of road as longitutudes and latitudes of earth
My parents liked to take long drives on the weekend for something to do. In the Winter they often took us kids to a cliffside lighthouse on a narrow, windy road. As it was always foggy and raining, I used to believe that the big yellow CONGESTION sign meant "be careful or you will catch a cold"
I used to beleive that the sighting poles and crosses used in motorway construction sites were actually the hastily dug graves of the poor workers who had died creating the transport system!
the Traffic signs point up (as up ahead) meant straight up litterally...I always looked up at nothing rather confused, my dad let it last as long as he could becuase it made him laugh so hard :)