Monday, September 12, 2011

When Icons Are Dumber than Words

Three guesses. What does this symbol mean?

red button with white outline art in an odd shape with a small white cross in the center

I had absolutely no idea, even though I had the hint that it was in a hospital room.

What good is a symbol if it's more unclear than words would be? I know there are many people in hospitals who can't read or can't read English, but would they be any better at deciphering this symbol, especially if they come from a non-U.S. culture?

In case you're as dense as me, here's another hint: Think original Francie doll with a giant, old-fashioned nurse's hat.

Ash-blond Francie doll with flipped up hair and a collaged old-fashioned nurse's cap with a red cross on her head

That's right: It's the nurse call button that's part of a hospital bed. Because all the nurses these days dress and do their hair like Francie.


Ms Sparrow said...

Who thought that one up--probably the same folks who come up with the cutsy names on theme restaurant bathrooms!

peppery said...

My first thought, honestly, was Nurse Bull Elephant. Those are totally tusks.

David Steinlicht said...

Candy corn!

Daughter Number Three said...

Nurse bull elephant! Caring candy corn!

I keep thinking it's an alien from a science fiction book I read as a kid. It had a huge triangular-shaped body with tentacles. This iconic version would be upside down, of course.