A question about the meaning of “Except” in NYC parking signs
The meaning of life is easy to figure out. But, how about those mystifying NYC parking signs?
Joe, a super member of the NYC driving community posed a question about the word, “Except” in those old, misbegotten parking signs, and here’s the answer…
No standing “Except” commercial vehicles metered parking 3-hour limit 7 A.M. – 7 P.M. Except Sunday
Whew…The old double “except” whammy. Who can blame Joe for being a little confused? A double negative (“except except”) equals a positive. So, parking is PERMITTED on Sundays!
How about the first, “Except.” Here’s the trick…ignore it unless you’re driving a commercial vehicle. Simply read the sign as NO STANDING 7 A.M. – 7 P.M.
- Passenger vehicles are prohibited from standing Monday – Saturday between the hours of 7 A.M. to 7 P.M.
- Passenger vehicles are permitted to stand all day on Sunday
- Commercial vehicles are permitted to stand Monday – Saturday between the hours of 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. but must pay the meter
- Commercial vehicles are permitted to stand all day on Sunday
- All vehicles are permitted to stand before 7 A.M. and after 7 P.M. on Monday – Saturday
No standing except trucks loading & unloading 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. except Sunday
This sign has two “Excepts.” Simply read the parking sign as No standing 7 A.M. to P.M. Monday-Saturday (because no specific days are mentioned and the second “Except” means you can park on Sunday).
Out with the old parking signs in with the new
What happened to “Except?” You won’t find “Except” in the re-designed parking signs because they have been eliminated from the vocabulary. The authors of the new sign language have sought clarity by adding positivity and eliminating negativity. Is it working?
Can you park here?
Top parking sign – on Tuesday at 8 pm? [Yes]
Bottom Left – Do you have to obey this piece of paper? [Yes]
Bottom Center – Are you talking to me?
Bottom Right – On Wednesday, if you don’t own the property abutting the driveway? [No]
P.S. I love Monty Python (if you haven’t guessed by now)
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