Germany’s Favorite Punctuation Mark: The Exclamation Point

56 German Exclamation Point Sign

Driving in Germany is always an adventure…

It’s impossible to drive very far without seeing a sign bearing an exclamation point. Why is this? I’ve come up with several possibilities.

1. It’s easier to fit on a road sign than…DANGER, DANGER…WATCH OUT…PAY ATTENTION…READ THIS…HEY YOU.

2.  You forgot your glasses and can’t read the words on a sign, but you CAN see this.

3.  You can’t read. (But then, why are you driving? Do you have a license?)

Normally, you will see the triangle sign with the exclamation point in the center. Then, underneath will be an attached sign with words or a picture. I have several personal problems with this. First of all, I feel as though I’m constantly being yelled at. Secondly, and this is because of my lack of understanding German, I don’t always know what the words are saying.

So, this is what’s going on inside my head: What is it saying? Is the bridge out just ahead? Are there terrorist sharp-shooters at the next exit? What? What?

The other day I was driving along and there was a road sign with just the exclamation point in the middle, no attached picture, no words. They just wanted to yell at me for no reason. This troubles me. Really.

I will be posting a new sign each week and we’ll see if you can figure out what it says. No cheating. No looking up the words. Of course sometimes there’ll just be a picture underneath. For example, the frog in my earlier post on Life in Germany. Are you in? I promise not to yell at you.

4 thoughts on “Germany’s Favorite Punctuation Mark: The Exclamation Point

    • Haha. I love your possible explanations, Traci. I’ve also traveled in Indonesia. Beautiful country, crazy roads. We drove through the mountain roads in Central Java. No lines on the roads, no guardrails, quite the rush.

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