Sign Question

We recently updated the foyer at work. It looks amazing and is tons of fun to walk through, sit in and all that fun stuff. However, several of us (by us, I mean employees mostly) have noticed something unusual…the restroom signs.

They are….


exactly as above. Which is odd, considering those are not words. The funny thing is, there are people who don’t care about the issue. But, it really frustrates me. A LOT. When we asked the sign people about them, they said something like “but that’s how we always make them.” REALLY?!?!

I mean, this is only a college town, we are only a well-educated congregation and they are only made up words. Why would it matter?

So, I’ve decided to put a little poll on my blog. Please take a moment to respond. Because, it annoys me to death, and I want to be sure I’m not being a grammar/English Nazi about the whole thing! (And, as a side note – I just ran spellcheck on this blog, and even blogger doesn’t think they’re words!)


  1. On behalf of the mens and womens of this church, I wish to thank you for the nice easy understandable signs. Everywhere I go in the America, I see signs for bathrooms that say only “men” or “women,” even though everyone says “men’s room” or “women’s room.” I take my childrens to the stores or restaurants, and all bathrooms are saying only “men” or “women.”I have heard people talking about the signs, and they were want to change them and talked of telling the workers of the church, but clearly there is no needs for that when they are already corrected with “mens” and “womens.”No need to spend money on more signs. God bless you,

  2. I voted. “Mens” and “Womens” are not words. You are not being a grammar nazi. Today I had to bite my tongue in order to not correct a college classmate who had written, “She had took her time doing that.” And she’s a fellow English major. I completely understand, my friend. Completely.

  3. Maybe I’m just dumb, but I think perhaps it is an abbreviated version of “Men’s Room” and “Women’s Room”. However, is it correct to use the apostrophe with this kind of noun? I can’t really say, I’ve forgotten. I were home-edumacated back in the day… A thought that I would have if I were troubled by this sign is to one day bring two apostrophe stickers (if appropriate for use with the nouns) and two “room” stickers. Grammatical irritation solved. =)Of course, there may then be an irritation with the mostly likely situation of non-matching words.Good luck!

  4. My question is NOT related to the annoying bathroom signs.What I needs to know is how you work with Scott without dying laughing??

  5. It bothers me that in your sidebar poll, three of your options list the male first and one lists the female first. Shouldn't they all be consistent?And no, *I'm* not a grammar nazi or anything.But if I were in your shoes, I think I'd have to either sneak in at night and rip the signs down, or quit my job in order to save my sanity.The ironic thing here is that my husband has been asked to make some similar signs for a resale store, and he & I had a conversation this morning about this very thing.

  6. Coincidentally, I tried to use the word (?) “mens” in an online scrabble game the other day and it said “invalid word”. I vote with you… and you can bet I’ll be looking at the restroom signs closer now to see if this is a trend. I do prefer that over “unisex”, though, which is what my office on the local air force base tried to go with a couple of years ago!

  7. You already know how I feel about these signs. Boys & Girls would be fine because those are actual words that you can justify. I'd actually prefer gender neutral restrooms so that I don't have to wait in a line between services on Sunday morning. I doubt the elders would be down with that, so I'll just keep waiting until I get home & use my own gender neutral restrooms.

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