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Signs point a way to confusion

ABOUT 23 percent of the public information signs in the city are non-standard or even misleading, according to a recent investigation by the Shanghai Association for Quality Inspection.

In May, the association's Customer Evaluation Center launched a sample investigation of public information signs in the city, the details of which were released yesterday.

"Though we just investigated eight venues, we intend to draw inferences about other cases from it," said an official surnamed Cheng.

Of 2,087 signs checked, 479 were non-standard. Shanghai Railway Station had the highest rate of non-standard signs, Yuyuan Garden the lowest.

The report found 26.1 percent of signs did not have the proper English expression or no English at all. Incoherent English was found in many places, such as Shanghai Gymnasium and Shanghai Indoor Stadium, Tibet Road S. and Xizang Road S.

There were also misspellings and misleading expressions. For example, "guest stop" instead of "staff only."

A quarter of the signs indicating toilets, no smoking or currency exchange, were found with non-standard images.

"We should regulate the signboards to make them understood by all kinds of people, especially foreigners," said He Jiuyu, vice director of the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall Supervisory Office.

However, at least one member of the public wondered why all the fuss.

"Most of the signs make sense to me. It is not necessary to make them all look the same," said Wing Wu, who works in Plaza 66 on Nanjing Road W.


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