Thursday, December 13, 2007
Year's Most Ridiculeable Warning Labels Announced: But Does Any Top the Classic "Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally"?
Posted by Alan Childress
Pedantics tell me that you cannot feel nauseous, just nauseated. If so, then the word ridiculous makes no sense, or at least should mean that it describes a person who ridicules a lot. That would be me. Something that receives much ridicule, thus, should be ridiculated or at least potentially ridiculeable.
I enjoy ridiculatious warning labels, and last year I posted in detail on several years' worth of winners. Here is an update story from the Associated Press: the same Michigan tort reform center has announced a winner for 2007 for a label on a tractor: "Danger: Avoid Death." I have seen tractors, and people using them in bizarre ways (live--not just Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, or Kevin Bacon in Footloose), so I actually think that one is appropriate. The second place goes to an iron-on transfer patch: "Do not iron while wearing shirt." [The center's official site announcing the tractor winner is here.]
The 'bridge out' sign above is, I presume, a fake. I got it from this funny sign site (which includes many real ones, like the one I call "res ipsa loquitur," shown right), thanks to a student in my Torts class.
I still prefer the warning labels that won in years past, worth considering their origins:
- warning on electric drill for carpenters cautions: “This product not intended for use as a dental drill.”
- cartridge for a laser printer warns, “Do not eat toner.”
- digital thermometer: "Once used rectally, the thermometer should not be used orally."