Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 10:02:00 CDT From: Edward Callary Subject: no combines on the blacktop This morning I noticed the following sign on Lincoln Highway, the main drag thru DeKalb, Il. I offer it to the list not so much to ask but to share with other lovers of the mysterious uses of the English language a particularly beautiful example of something, though I'm not quite sure what. The sign reads: CONSTRUCTION TRANSPORTED IMPLEMENTS OF HUSBANDRY OVER 8FT 6IN WIDE PROHIBITED I'm not even sure what this means. My first reading is a quite literal 'Farm Implements which are themselves over 8ft 6in wide and are being transported, i.e., carried on flat bed trucks or the like are prohibited.' And yet, this is a sight rarely seen in this area. The 'Implements of Husbandry' are most often driven or pulled from one job to the next. This would make the reading something like: 'No farm implements over 8ft 6in wide permitted.' The only I have would be speculative: do you think anyone concerned would be able to correctly interpret the sign on first reading? Have you come across other examples of ponderous writing which most probably in this case originated in the brain of a Springfield bureaucrat rather than in that of a concerned farmer? Yours for greater pomposity, Edward Callary