If you could use a short diversion from all the disheartening news about national politics, how about this? Consider that sign on an Albany traffic signal mast and ask yourself: Is that the best way to get the message across?
Push the button, it clearly says. But what button? Where is there a button?
You might be tempted to point your finger the same place the sign finger points and press. But there’s no button there. You can push all you want and the effect will be zilch.
The sign clearly shows a button-like thing that you’re supposed push. A black button. A round little thing, about as big around as your index finger. You can examine that signal mast all day and all night but you won’t find a little black button anywhere.
There is, however, something below the sign. Not a button, but an arrow. If you want to cross the highway and hope for the signal to change to allow you to do that, they apparently want you to push the arrow.
You do that, and sooner or later, the walk signal does come on.
Life is too short to spend any of it, even a few seconds, having to figure out highway signs. So here’s a modest suggestion to the designers of signal equipment: Don’t say “button” when it’s an “arrow” you mean. (hh)