Language and Toilets

I’m in Scotland for work and as I was riding to my hotel from the airport, there was a smattering of signs reading TO LET. In some cases there were 2 signs in two windows with the window frame acting as a separator like this TO|LET.

This isn’t particularly special. In the US it’s the equivalent of FOR RENT or SPACE AVAILABLE…except that my American brain kept translating it to TOILET. To the point that I idly wondered why the Scots need so many toilets. I knew that the signs read TO LET, but in the US, that group of letters is more likely to lead to a toilet than to an apartment for rent. My brain kept filling in the missing letter I with each sign we passed.

There’s no real lesson here except to be careful when filling in the blanks automatically. Because if you really need a toilet, that missing letter is important.

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