Tuesday, July 25, 2006

If you don't misinterpret this poster, who will?


These posters are up all around our university. And I just don't get it. "If you don't... what?"

"If you don't avoid walking alone, who will?"

Huh?

For one thing, there are almost too many negatives in that sentence for me to interpret it. Secondly, the implications I think it is trying to make are hardly true, are they? "If you walk alone on campus, then everyone else will too?" And if that were really the case, wouldn't that be a good thing? Lots of people walking around campus = a safer environment, right?

Or maybe I'm entirely mistaken in my interpretation. There is actually a whole series of these posters with pictures of people in dangerous looking situations, and each one has the slogan: "If you don't, who will?" Maybe the correct inference is, "If you don't get mugged, who will? Take one for the team!" Or "If you don't mug someone, who will? Do your part for a less secure campus!"

Or does this slogan make sense to everyone else but me?

Edited to add: And isn't it kind of spooky how well this poster fits in with my blog colour scheme? (But if it doesn't, what will?)

5 Comments:

Grace said...

Maybe it's "if you don't live in fear, who will?".
If *I* did the posters they would say:
1) take self-defense classes
2) feel good about yourself
3) use your common sense
4) don't take unnecessary risks
5) live your life to the fullest

wolfa said...

My guess: if you don't worry about yourself/take care of your own safety, who will?

Lucy said...

Do the other posters fit the slogan any better? One of my biggest pet peeves is when the members of a group are supposed to match, but nobody put in that little bit of effort to actually make them all match and also make sense.

StyleyGeek said...

Grace -- those are much better posters.

I think the answer is a combination of what Wolfangel and Lucy suggest. I did a brief hunt around campus for the other posters at lunch time and could only find one, although I'm sure I've seen three or four others. The other one I found said, "Don't have friends to walk with? Call a campus security officer."

Subtext being, I suppose, "If you don't call us, who will? Nobody, that's who. And then we'll be out of a job."

I guess they figure that the "If you don't..." doesn't actually have to make sense with the rest of the poster, since, as Wolfangel says, the default interpretation would be something like, "If you don't watch out for yourself, your mummy isn't here to do it for you."

But if I put my ideas that vaguely in my thesis, my supervisor would be all about the red pen.

Lydia said...

that looks like something from China in broken, poorly translated English!