"Color" = "information"?!

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 29 15:53:05 UTC 2007

They're still being called "Botts dots" on the West Coast after having
been installed on California streets and freeways in the 'Sixties.
What's the name of the small, oblong, metal doodads that reflect red
and that are placed between the sets of dots? Scotchlite, Botts dots,
and those doodads should be mandatory on every major street in the
country. They're a real mitzve. especially after presbyopia, glaucoma,
and other signs of maturity set in..


On 5/29/07, Mark A. Mandel <mamandel at ldc.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Mark A. Mandel" <mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "Color" = "information"?!
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Michael Quinion writes:
>     >>>>>
>                 [...] all fitfully
> illuminated by the flashing orange beacons of the pedestrian crossing
> outside. That was a real colour piece.
> ObADS-L: He called the orange lights Belisha beacons, named after the man
> who introduced them, Leslie Hore-Belisha, Minister of Transport 1931-7
> (who also thought it a good idea that new motorists should pass a driving
> test).
>  <<<<<
> IIRC, the convex disks used on roads that make a vibration and repeated
> thumping noise when a driver drifts out of the lane, were called "Botts
> dots" when they were first introduced in New York, after the traffic
> commissioner at the time. The rhyme was an obvious attraction of the phrase,
> as alliteration probably was for "Belisha beacons".
> -- Mark
> [This text prepared with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.]
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