Monthly Archives: September 2008

SNIS – YAMFLA (Yet Another Meaningless Four-Letter Acronym)


The world of Information Technology overflows with its arcane jargon and acronyms, but it is by no means, the sole offender of creating inpenetrable and mysterious language.

I was recently driving along and saw this displayed on the dot-matrix on the back of a bus…

what does SNIS mean

…and whilst admiring the rendition of the letters on the display and pondering dot densities and the like, I then spent precious minutes attempting to work out what it was actually trying to say, and where was the bus going?

There is a lot of talk about reducing street clutter at one moment, and then, again, increasing confusion within the driver’s mind to make them slow down

coincidentally, Hans Monderman , the proponent of “Shared Space”, died earlier this year, but that is another tangent

but this new FLA certainly did the latter, and none of the former for me!

As I overtook and looked in my mirror, Eureka, the bus was heading for the depot, and proudly displaying “Sorry, Not In Service” on the long display at the front.

Yes, the transport types have invented a new word-thing and foisted on us unsuspecting general public who really didn’t need it and shouldn’t be spending our time working out what it means. This particular word-thing should really only be used amongst consenting transport types and anoraks, and I don’t really mind if the bus people use it as a verb,

“OK, guys, we’ll SNIS this bus and bring on the relief”

just as long as they don’t do it in front of the children.

In my humble opinion, this display below would have worked better, and would probably have meant more to a large part of the world that uses the Roman alphabet…

a better graphic

Fool Us? More Fool you!

I stayed in an bizarre hotel in Kensington last week and was rather struck by the immense length of the central corridor, and odd green-ness of the lights, creating an institutional, Soviet/Stalinist feel to the place, and the sense that you could walk and walk and never find your room…


…which brings me, of course, to carpets of which this place had many, many hectares.

Carpet stores have always seemed to me to be one of the last hangouts of stone-age man, well, stone-age marketing anyway.

Apart of the never-ending sales, and boring adverts, they seem to harbour troglodytes who have not worked out that it might just be better to treat their customers with a little bit of intelligence. The most insulting manifestation of this is the latest wheeze, the “cut, and then cut some more” sale pricing.

Carpetright have a great deal advertised at the moment at the local store…


An interesting aside is that if you go to the Carpetright website and right-click your mouse, instead of the normal menu, you get a big Copyright notice, not obvious what they have to protect so assidiously

50% and then 20% more is, of course, supposed to make us think they are cutting prices by 70%, but, no, by a clever trick of arithmetic it is only 60% (the 20% only applies to something already cut in half).

“Carpet Stupidity” more like…