Bureau of Nonessential Information

Somewhere or other in my reading yesterday I came across a mention of “reassurance shields.” In the context, it was clear that the term referred to highway route markers rather than, say, some sort of adult incontinence product.

Reassurance shield? Specifically, they’re highway markers placed strategically to reassure us drivers that we’re on the route we want to be on. They’re also called confirmation shields; because, you know, they confirm what route you’re on. And if they’re combined with a sign that also indicated the direction the road is traveling, then you have a reassurance assembly (or confirmation assembly, which to a Catholic has a whole different ring to it).


And if you want to immerse yourself in the world of highway signage — the standards, the rules for where which signs with which arrows and whatnot are appropriate, and other nonessential knowledge that will make you an indispensable party bore — you want to visit Section 2 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

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