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I’m a Cancer, but that’s not what this is about.

Apparently, the world is so completely illiterate that we are now spending our stolen money taxpayer dollars to re-vamp the EXIT sign.

I’m serious.

This is too hard for the world to understand –


Sooooooo, a whole lot of  money has been spent and a whole lot of arguing has been going on over the American Exit sign and how it “confuses the rest of the world”.

Many other countries use some version of the ISO standard, (yes, Virginia, there is a standard!) a symbol developed the late 1970s by a Japanese designer named Yukio Ota and adopted for international use in 1985. This take on the exit sign goes by the informal name “the running man,” and looks like this:

New Exit

Frankly, I think it looks like a criminal running away.

But the rest of the world likes it because it’s green which means go and is the “color of safety”, and the guy is running or leaving, which would make people think it’s a way out.

Red on the other hand, is associated all over the world with stop, halt, don’t touch, fire, hot, and the word EXIT “isn’t universally understood”.


The American Exit Sign came into being around 1911 after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City.  A downtown Manhattan garment factory fire that killed 146 workers.   The signage problem wasn’t the real cause for the deaths.  The locked doors were.  But, the EXIT sign got its start around that time.  The doors were locked and bolted to keep the workers from “sneaking off”. 

The National Fire Protection Association, founded by Insurance Companies in 1896 to develop “protocols for property preservation” was spurred to look into life safety.  The crux of the concern was the pesky chore of getting the people out of the burning buildings and saving the buildings at the same time.  Priorities please! 

It wasn’t until the 1930s and 1940s that criterion for emergency exit signs was developed.  And, since most of the folks in the US spoke English, E X I T was understood by virtually everyone.

Now, not so much.

This is amazing to me since EXIT came directly to us from the Latin word meaning he or she goes out. 

There are literally hundreds of words in the English language and most languages of peoples touched by the Roman Empire that are directly from the Latin.

So, let’s spend the money elsewhere and leave the EXIT icon alone.

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