Surveillance sign's Freudian slip

børge says:
The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks has this great photo of a sign reading "Images are being recorded for the purpose of 'crime prevention' and 'public safety' and may be shared with third parties."

Is this a way to admit that the stated goals of the increasing surveillance in society is mostly bull, or is it just a Freudian slip?



  1. go ahead and call me stupid but i don’t get it.
    it’s scary & all, but where’s the freudian slip ?

  2. “go ahead and call me stupid but i don’t get it.
    it’s scary & all, but where’s the freudian slip ?”

    They put “public safety” and “crime prevention” in non-literal quotation marks–in the fashion where I note that the sign is a brilliant use of ‘factual’ information.

  3. Actually, titling the sign ‘customer information’ is charmingly ironic. Are they providing customers with the information that they are being recorded, or are they providing the customer information contained in the recordings to ‘crime prevention’ and ‘public safety’ oversight bodies? This sign is layered with innuendo.

  4. I’m sure the sign is supposed to read “crime prevention” and “public safety” but evidently their shift key is broken.

  5. well that ain’t no freudian slip, just informal punctuation.

    or bad, depending on yr perspective. i use single marks sometimes because it’s ‘fun’ and it freaks out the ‘professionals’.

    #3 flagged my questian perfectly: a freudian slip would include an unintentional reference to that which is taboo’d.

  6. “When I see a solar eclipse, like the one I went to last year in Hawaii, I think ‘Oh no! Is the moon eating the sun?’ I don’t know. Because I’m a caveman — that’s the way I think.” -Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer

  7. Well, what I meant by using the term “Freudian slip” was that they say what they really mean, deep down, something that they didn’t mean to say. It “slips out” of them, so to speak. I thought that was a quite common way to use the term, but then again I’m not a native english speaker. I know that the most normal, and original meaning is, of course, that you say something related to sex, but I am under the impression that it’s allowed to use it about any slip of tongue that reveals your true intentions.

  8. Just another example of improper quotation marks. For some reason, some people believe quotes are for emphasis.

  9. @#11 yes, i think we agree on the general meaning of the term ‘freudian slip’ –
    but i don’t see how it applies here.

    of course slips don’t have to be about sex, but what’s the slip here ? i feel doltish.

  10. #14: Well, you might be right, maybe it was a wrong use of the term. I just meant that the quotation marks are kinda an admission that the stated goals of surveillance is not the actual goals. And such an admission is not likely to happen, unless it’s by accident, that is by a Freudian slip.

  11. The idea is that the ‘quoting’ makes it insincere and mocking. I imagine TSA / HS/ etc people in their meeting rooms to make quote marks about measures for the ‘public safety’.

  12. Cherry — It’s not the single vs double quotes that are at issue. It’s the presence of quote marks at all.

  13. “Images are being recorded for the purpose of ‘sexual titillation’ and ‘masturbation’ and may be shared with third parties.”

  14. Bravo Avram, I don’t know why people had such a hard time with this.

    Annc said, “For some reason, some people believe quotes are for emphasis”. They’re not.

  15. “For some reason, some people believe quotes are for emphasis”. They’re not.

    Next you’ll be claiming that apostrophe’s aren’t for plural’s. What kind of madman are you?

  16. Antinous, I enjoy all your post’s. Ross, can you KEEP IT DOWN A LITTLE? I have a ‘bit’ of a “headache”.

  17. This remind’s me of the grocers’ in Terry Pratchett, whose speech actually includes all those misplaced apostophe’s: “I s’ent tho’se letter’s to him year’s ago.”

  18. For some reason, some people believe quotes are for emphasis”. They’re not.

    In Japanese quotation marks are equivalent of the use of italics for emphasis in English.
    This results in many entertaining engRish translations with quotation marks that unintentionally imply irony, doubt or humor. My favorite was an engRish sign in front a sauna/bathhouse in Komagome district of Tokyo reading:
    “Aliens” must not take a bath.

    See Unicode 300C, 300D, etc. which are called kagi (“hook”), the Japanese quotation mark.

  19. That’s good, my images of “possible faults” in their security systems are being shared with “security experts” for purposes of “independent analysis.”

    Plus I get a cut of what they “lift.”

  20. Pretty much all the signs on that website are an example of people who think quotation marks are for emphasis. That’s what makes them funny to people who read things in quotes sarcastically.

  21. the sign in the door was clearly prepared by a cautious layman acting on the specific advice of legal counsel. He or she was no doubt advised these were the key buzz words of relevant law to safely spying on customers and sharing the information. I am sure that if you find the statute for that area it will say “not withstanding the foregoing, any person may acquire,use and transmit personal information on any person found on the premises for the purposes of crime prevention and public safety”

  22. Do you Support or Oppose making the Patriot Act permanent? I SUPPORT – The Safe indicates my support because I want America to remain safe from harm in today’s volatile world. I OPPOSE – The Toilet Cleaner indicates my opposition because our individual rights and freedoms are disappearing down the toilet by Patriot Act provisions. Toss Your Brick at bricktoss.

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