Graphic Warning: Keep Hands Out of Vendor?

Pictorial or graphic warnings are designed to be interpretable by anyone, whatever language they speak and whatever their literacy level.  The problem is it can be darn difficult to convey a product warning in a single image.

This graphic warning sticker on a soda/water machine does a good job of getting one’s attention and clearly alerts people that they should not be sticking their hand in between grinding gears.  Where those gears are remains a mystery, but I suppose it must be the exit path for the soda or water bottle.

I have a bigger issue with the verbal warning: KEEP HANDS OUT OF VENDOR.  Vendor?  That sounds more like a sexual assault warning.  The dictionary definitions of “vendor” I’ve come across are limited to persons or companies that sell products, not machines that dispense them.  How about we substitute “vending machine”?

Here, here, here and here are a few other interesting graphic or pictorial warnings for your interpretative pain or pleasure.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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