Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Instructions on Everything

Simple instructions/titles on all products
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

Visual ergonomics has brought about the invention of baffling and mysterious icons to describe what is going on with functions of certain things. The most obvious would be washing instructions on garments, the symbols are supposed to clearly indicate something : a triangle with a line through it? huh? Looking at my computer, the 'on' light has a little symbol next to it of a light bulb with radiating lines - how clever! I suggest detailed instructions for even the most banal objects printed onto them or at least with a sticker.

'COFFEE MUG - ceramic vessel designed for hot beverages, especially coffee',

'STAPLER - puts small metal fasteners into paper - Insert paper and squeeze - will need periodic refills'

'SPOON - metal eating utensil'

'ON LIGHT - when this light is on, it indicates your device is on'

'RACQUET - when the ball comes your way, hit it back using the stringed section, hold handle located at other end [arrow]'

The surfaces of everything would be labelled and confusion would be done away with for those using things that they have no specialty with - like automotive mechanic's tools, cooking utensils, sporting equipment. Learning about things would be a breeze and the post-minimalist aesthetic would facilitate a cultural shift towards objectification - though this might be a bad thing.


benfrost, Aug 04 2001


       Excellent! With appropriate labelling of surgical instruments, even a mere novice would be able to perform complicated operations.
PotatoStew, Aug 04 2001

       Ever since the "Guess the Halfbaker" idea, I've been nailing these left and right. I guessed benfrost after I read the description. I win!
AfroAssault, Aug 04 2001

       This would allow more bad translations from Japanese, Korean, Latvian, etc too. "Bean Curd: Please to eat only, not a Sexual Excitement!" "Sticky side tape is bottom unless bottomside up" "Insert male into female watching at all times for incendiary sparks"
Dog Ed, Aug 04 2001

       It's sad that some people actually NEED these directions. 'Warning: The HOT COFFEE contained in this cup that you were given when you asked for HOT COFFEE is actually HOT'.
StarChaser, Aug 04 2001

       There's an old joke that you can identify an Irish Guinness bottle because it has 'Open other end' stamped on the bottom.
Also, I've seen a dinner service which has 'Plate' printed on the plates, 'Fork' on the forks, etc.
angel, Aug 06 2001

       The one with no fingers?
angel, Aug 06 2001

       Because people are morons. A couple of idiots lifted up a lawnmower to trim the hedges and got their fingers hacked up, were surprised, and sued.   

       People are idiots, and NEED warnings like 'Do not stick icepick in ear', and 'Do not use <hairdryer> while sleeping'.
StarChaser, Aug 06 2001

       Great Link, Waug; However, It's Highly Annoying That They Capitalize the First Letter of Almost Every Single Word in The Warnings.
PotatoStew, Aug 06 2001

       //This would allow more bad translations from Japanese, Korean, Latvian, etc too.// ummm.... All your base are belong to us?   

       Must go eat the contents of the desiccant package now.
mighty_cheese, Sep 24 2001

       It doesn't say 'Do not eat contents', it says 'Do not eat'. Period. So if you buy a computer or stereo or whatever, you're required to starve to death shortly thereafter.
StarChaser, Sep 29 2001

       have you ever read the side effects on pill bottles? e.g. aspirin may cause headaches, sleeping pills may make you drowsy, stomach medicines may cause constipation or dispepsia, inhalers may make you breathless etc etc ad nauseum
po, Sep 29 2001

       The best is in my (very great) Rowenta Professional iron instruction booklet: "Do not attempt to iron clothes while wearing them." True!
bristolz, Sep 29 2001

       More clear instuctions would also help. I once spent 3 days continuously washing my hair until my buddy came over and told me that I only had to lather, rinse, and repeat once to clean my hair thoroughly. [+]
thesmog, Jul 07 2005

       "LABEL - small adhesive text-bearing sticker carrying instructions."
Basepair, Jul 07 2005

       The keyboard on my computer does not make is clear what each key does. Under this scheme each key would be labelled "Press this key to type an 'A' character. Press in combination with the SHIFT key to produce an 'a' character, unless CAPS-LOCK is illuminated then this action is reversed. Do not lick this key, Repeated use of this key may cause RSI. If this occurs see your Doctor".

Keyboards will have to be much bigger ;)
Minimal, Jul 08 2005

       Since I'm here...
"This is the cow. She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk, and the milk must be boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk."
st3f, Jul 08 2005

       Step 1 of every instruction label should be "1. Read instructions."
phundug, Jul 08 2005

       How about a big, shiny, red button? Underneath, write "Do not press the red button".   

       I think this might have been done before, but I can't remember...HHGTTG?
Ling, Jul 08 2005

       It was a black button. When you pressed it, it lit up with black letters on a black background.
angel, Jul 08 2005

       st3f - you READ 100 Years of Solitude????!!!! Did you get to the end? I never made it that far but have always been curious to know if anyone did, and whether it was worth the journey.
Basepair, Jul 08 2005


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