Informing signs of the street

Vivian Cook

Informing signs provide factual information for the reader such as opening times, lists of products on sale. and how to pay for car-parking. Some are required by law such as Planning Notices. Many are temporary, i.e. done on paper and/or by hand. Readership is passers-by, drivers and potential users.


Open sign gilt 
Handwritten Letters chalk blackboard Ram Jam Inn

welcome sign Boots 

parking sign lower case letters


Planning Notice street printed

Informing shades into job offers, for sale signs and advertisements, which are perhaps more selling than informing. The intended readership is passers-by, drivers and potential users, that is to say anybody, essentially the ideational metafunction of language for conveying information (Halliday & Mattheisen, 2005).

Informing signs divide into two main groups. The first group consists mostly of noun phrases, and only a few finite verbs, the second group of dense texts providing information for readers on foot, mostly owned by the local authority.

All of the Informing signs are indexical to their location, apart from posters or other advertisements for widely available products such as Stella Artois lager. An open sign announces that these premises are open at these times; other signs proclaim that these goods are available at this location. Moving the signs to another location falsifies their meaning.


Language of the Streets menu