Friday, January 8, 2010

Russian logic

Some stores now have automated lockers for parcels, which is a lot more efficient than waiting in line for a lady to give you a number. The only problem is that the directions are a little confusing...

The top notice says "Do NOT place things in open lockers."

The bottom one says "Place your things only in the locker that was OPENED BY YOU."

Maybe it isn't confusing to native speakers. If the top one had an EXCEPT OPENED BY YOU statement it would be a little more logical, in my opinion.


  1. The first sign would have had me standing there frozen with dread; I don't like to be confused about rules in Russia.

  2. I was frozen also. That reminds me, I was at a petting zoo the other day and there was this lady walking around saying "It says not to feed them, but they're sure gobbling up the bread we threw at them!" I think the signs are often put there for aesthetic purposes. :)

  3. Context is a great thing.
    I assume those signs were found in electronic locker room. Its when you get you bar code ticket and have you cell (that is bound to this ticket)opened at the same time. That's where your belongings should go to. If you did not open any and see one open wide, don't use it! Its not functioning.
    1. Pic2 is fourth point of "how to use lockers".
    2. Signs (like pic 1) in Russia for those who don't read rules.
    3. Context is a great thing!

  4. Okay, but imagine that you've never used the lockers before! I still think it's confusing. But you're right, I took it out of context a little bit.

  5. would you say in Russian EXCEPT OPENED BY YOU...?

  6. Masha! I’m not the native speaker. Usually when there is an exception, you make an asterisk*. And then at the bottom you would write the * again followed by the explanation: КРОМЕ открытой вами ячейки. Well, something like that. (By the way, I criticize American signs the same way. I don't like when instructions are unclear or grammatically incorrect!)


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