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Sam Scheibner says: "This sign appears three or four times in Fremont WA along the canal. I'm no English major but shouldn't it be Dump No Material Whatsoever? Or did the sign writer give up half way through?"

I hope somebody adds funny punctuation to it, like "Dump No Material? Whatever."

32 Responses to “Funny signs in Fremont, WA: "Dump No Material Whatever"”

  1. Beanolini says:

    #22, Anonymous:

    Thanks for that, most interesting. I found this page which gives a bit more information on the concept (describing it as the ‘dead man test’), and suggests that a better instruction would involve ‘action’ and ‘movement’.

  2. ZehnKatzen says:

    @24: I wackyparsed the domain address in that URL as “Fremont Tarts Council”, which would be pretty progressive, actually, I think, if it really existed.

  3. takeshi says:

    @ Kaiser Leib:

    It is not an outmoded use of the word at all. It is the same as using it this way:

    “Whatever chemicals you dump, be sure to dump them well.”

    “Whatsoever” is an intensive form of “whatever.” Personally, as a stickler for proper usage, I would say that “whatever” is actually more correct, albeit less frequently used, particularly in the States.

    But whatever.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was at the Chinese restaurant last night. My girlfriend pointed out that ducklings are small ducks. I immediately canceled my order for dumplings.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “I hope somebody adds funny punctuation to it, like “Dump No Material? Whatever.”"

    Been there, done that. Enjoy!

    http://flickr.com/photos/jeramey/889871979/in/photostream/

  6. alexch says:

    Bogus peevologism. The OED lists whatever as an alternative for whatsoever and any native speaker would understand it without blinking. I agree with the previous poster who said “I would say that “whatever” is actually more correct… But whatever.”

  7. lostspyder says:

    Official English major here –
    This sign is fine. It’s not how I would phrase it, but still fine.

  8. ZehnKatzen says:

    I ripped off the photo and added the proper punctuation and went the extra mile by amending the sanction notice just a little.

    http://zehnkatzen.blogspot.com/2008/06/liff-seattle-sign-properly-punctuated.html

  9. jcburns says:

    Hm. posted much the same content here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcburns/284011153/

    …back in February 2006.

    But whatever. (Yes, they’re in many parts of metro Seattle.)

  10. Takuan says:

    whatever happened to “Git offen mah danged propitty!, consarn it!”

  11. Anonymous says:

    In psychology there’s a thing called the “Dead Man’s Rule.” It says if you want to have people actually obey your commands, avoid giving them instructions that a dead person can obey.

    “Do Not Dump” or “No Dumping” would be in violation of this rule.

    There are two reasons for this:
    1) The brain processes the negation after decoding the message. So by saying “Don’t Dump” you’re actually saying “Dump, oh wait, don’t do that.” You’re actually making the impulse to dump slightly stronger by using common wording.

    2)It’s always better to tell people to do something else instead of the behavior you want to avoid. So in this case they are telling people to dump nothing. It’s like the little stickers at the gym in lockers saying “leave no valuables here.”

    It’s basic behavioral psychology. I thought you guys liked science?

  12. tikal2k says:

    #22: so DON’T WALK signs actually cause more jaywalking incidents than they prevent?

  13. amylink says:

    Even though I’m sure some Fremont residents would like to secede into their own sovereign nation it is not a city. You can come here tomorrow to see naked people on bicycles though.

    http://www.fremontartscouncil.org/events_solstice.html

  14. Anonymous says:

    Turn it into a dialogue:

    “DUMP?”

    “NO, MATERIAL.”

    “WHATEVER.”

  15. Maurik says:

    You’ll love englishfail.wordpress.com

    Looks like it could fit right in.

  16. hectorinwa says:

    California or Washington? These signs are all over Seattle. I’ve always wondered what they meant…

  17. hectorinwa says:

    (I should add – Fremont is a section of Seattle)

  18. Pitch says:

    Well, it’s not its most common use, but in the OED:

    2a,b. b. adj. = ‘No matter what..’;‘Notwithstanding anything that’.

    2c. c. adv. Whatever may be the case, at all events. dial. (and colloq.).

  19. Moon says:

    Shouldn’t it say

    DUMP NO MATERIAL
    WHATEVER MORON

  20. sicklecell says:

    I was born next to a sign like this. No joke.

  21. Shawn Wolfe says:

    This was shot a few feet from Jim Woodring’s house.

    http://vwmrpcs.myspc.cm/ndx.cfm?fsctn=vwmg&frndD=125128352&lbmD=0&mgD=121407

  22. The Tim says:

    Judging by the quoted comment “Fremont WA” and by the Space Needle sticker visible in the upper-right of the picture, I’m going to have to say that the title of this post is incorrect.

    The strange signs are indeed in Fremont, Seattle, Washington.

  23. thefoodgeek says:

    Pitch is, of course, correct in #5. It is more common in England, or at least it was about a century or so ago. It was very popular in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

  24. wackyvorlon says:

    It’s not as common a usage these days, but it is perfectly fine. There’s really nothing wrong with the english.

  25. dr_spork says:

    I read ‘whatever’ as a noun, like, dump no MATERIAL whatever. As opposed to imaginary whatever.

    Don’t dump whatever. Especially if it’s material whatever.

  26. rAMPANTiDIOCY says:

    I must echo #’s 5, 11 and 12. Whatever it is you want to dump, don’t dump it.

  27. Registrado says:

    Exhaling Carbon Dioxide = CRIME!!!

    Sweating = CRIME!!!

  28. waded says:

    #23, that doesn’t make sense. But a STOP sign might get the point across more effectively.

  29. Pablissimo says:

    Seems like it was posted by the department of redundancy department. Why say stick “Whatever” on the end at all?
    “Dump no material” – doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue either – I’d vote for “No Dumping”.

    But then we’d have one less thing to talk about on a Friday afternoon…

  30. Kaiser Leib says:

    That’s a perfectly acceptable if somewhat outmoded use of the word “whatever.” I use it that way conversationally sometimes. I agree, though, that funny punctuation is in order.

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