More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Modern Day Hieroglyphics

In ancient times, the Egyptians very famously used hieroglyphics as a form of language. Pictures represented words or letters.

The other day, I was just trying to use my new oven to heat up my KFC. Rather than pull out the old portable electric oven, I thought I would use the new beautifully shiny gas oven in the house. Upon reaching the controls, I realised I had no idea how to turn the oven on. There were all these symbols which I had no clue what they meant. I turned knob after knob but nothing came on. I consider myself a fairly technological guy but this oven had my stumped.

I resorted to the instruction manual, a very thick one indeed. Finally I got it working after reading the manual. There's two things that bugged me about this oven incident. Firstly, why do manufacturers make things so complicated when they don't have to. Why can't an oven just have a switch to turn it on, a light switch, a temperature control, and a switch to use the fan or not. Secondly, how hard is it to print a few words rather than have these cryptic images. I mean I know the symbols mean the fan and the heating element, but how could I possibly know what the difference between a solid line or a dotted line, or two lines compared to one. Am I supposed to keep remembering this useless piece of information for the rest of my life if I am to keep using the oven. Why do I want to waste more brain power than necessary, especially as age isn't improving my memory at all.

The funniest incidents I've encountered with symbols has been to do with toilets. At one place, I was a little bit drunk and instead of having the usual man and woman sign, they put the man ♂ and woman ♀ symbol. For a while I kept trying to think, which symbol is the men's one. Finally I remembered the Roger David (a men's retail store) sign which had that symbol. Another time, the men and women's toilets were marked with these fancy images that were again hard to recognise. The men's picture looked like he was wearing a dress while the women's looked like she had a top hat. This again had me guessing. Then I saw someone walk out and I said to myself "I hope they got it right" and went in. Luckily I picked the right toilet. How hard is it to write "MEN" and "WOMEN" or put an "M" or "W" on the toilets and stop all this confusion.

There are many more examples of modern day hieroglyphics where sometimes you just say to yourself, "What the hell is that suppose to mean, why couldn't they just write a few words?" Everywhere you look, from your tv remotes, to your portable music players, to your computer monitor settings, there's just so many symbols that is sometimes so hard to decipher. Some of the worse are road signs. I mean its fair enough with road signs since you don't have long to read the sign, so text could be hard to read in time. Below are some confusing signs.

Ok so the signs are fake, but there are real ones that are equally hard to guess what they mean. Symbols have their uses but people need to restrain from using them everywhere just for the sake of it. Sometimes a little bit of text of a few letters make much more sense.


Blogger PF said...

The first set of symbols reminds me of "Lost". Hehe.

8/19/2006 12:58 AM  
Blogger cin said...

heh, my oven has those same symbols and it certainly took me a while to figure out and not burn things. Although there are no symbols, I'm still trying to figure out my microwave, which has oven and grilling facilites...

8/20/2006 11:13 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Alan, yeah I've taped the last two episodes of lost but haven't watched yet. I wonder if they will reveal anymore about those symbols that Locke saw.

Cin, it certainly is very confusing nowadays with all these symbols on equipment. Why can't they just write things. I love your blog by the way, the pictures of the food, especially the oysters have me salivating.

8/20/2006 9:40 PM  
Blogger afrobev said...

Your oven looks very complicated to be honest. You've made me smile today anyway.

8/21/2006 2:20 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Always glad to make someone happy each day. 8-)

8/21/2006 9:39 PM  
Blogger The Oriental Express said...

Once I was in Maui, Hawawaii. Was looking for a washroom but the sign only said, "Wahini" and "Wahana". No pictures at all.
I decided that "Wahini" sounds more feminine than "Washana" and hence entered the washroom. Oops! I found a guy inside!

Till now, I don't know whether he was in the wrong toilet or I was in the wrong toilet!

8/22/2006 10:10 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Very funny Choo. If you noticed a urinating trough in the toilet, then you were probably in the wrong one. Otherwise the gentlemen was probably in the wrong one. So did you end up going to the other toilet or did you stay in the first one?

8/22/2006 7:08 PM  

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