Posted by: travelrat | August 25, 2019

Give Us a Sign

If you scroll back far enough in the blog, you’ll find quite a few signs in my ‘Silly Signs’ series. I haven’t come across any lately, but I still photograph signs. The reasons are twofold:

Many years ago, some friends came back from one of those ‘if it’s Tuesday, this must be Brussels’ coach tours, and showed us their photographs … among much disagreement, even argument as to when, and most importantly where, each picture was taken. So, if I’m on such a multi-stop trip, the first thing I do is take a picture with the name of the place on it.


The second reason, I identified on our recent trip to Iceland. That is the only place in the world where Icelandic is spoken, and not many people outside Iceland speak it. So, the place names are sometimes quite complicated. Especially if they sound like someone trying to pronounce a mouthful of Lego bricks. If you remember the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull, even the BBC newsreaders pronounced it ‘The Icelandic Volcano’.

(I wonder if Icelanders have similar problems dealing with places like Oswaldtwistle or Auchtermuchty?)


It’s not a new thing. When I was stationed in Germany, we had dealings with bases at Oberpfaffenhofen or Furstenfeldbruch; even our German colleagues used to call them ‘Obie’ and ‘Fursty’.


Fortunately, I’m writing about places we visited, so don’t have to pronounce them. But, a photograph of a sign or something does ensure I get the spelling right.

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