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Picture of the Week: The Polite Sign

A Very Polite Sign, Ottawa, May 2013

A Very Polite Sign, Ottawa, May 2013

Cana­di­ans have the inter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion of being polite and cour­te­ous—and this appar­ently extends to our signs.

Con­struc­tion work is a pain for every­one, pedes­tri­ans and dri­vers alike. Unfor­tu­nately, in Canada, because of our long and harsh win­ter, spring and sum­mer are known are “con­struc­tion sea­son”. Tons of projects, from road repairs to paving, from condo devel­op­ments to build­ing demo­li­tions, are under­way all across the city. This often causes traf­fic delays, road blocks, dust and leads to a myr­iad of lit­tle annoyances.

For­tu­nately, this über-polite sign makes of forgetful:

Work in progress.

Sorry for the incon­ve­nience caused.

These improve­ments are for you.”

Well, I’m not sure if I will ben­e­fits from these improve­ments, what­ever they are, but at least the apol­ogy sounds sincere!

Wel­come to Canada, where our signs are oh-so-polite!


  1. meh… that didn’t work at all. I meant to write

    It’s not unique to Canada at all, it is also com­monly used in Eng­land and –sur­prise, sur­prise– even on planet Druidia.
    The link still works though.

    • The Chi­nese say 对不起, which basi­cally means “I’m not up to your expec­ta­tions”. I kind of like that. Let me check the link…

  2. Even our buses apol­o­gize when not in ser­vice. You must have seen this: “Sorry, Not In Ser­vice“

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