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I'm creating some signs for the office car park, and one of these signs is to control access. What I'm trying to get it to indicate is that cars aren't permitted between 10 am and 4pm except for access.

Which of the following means what I want to say above?

  • Except for access 10 am - 4 pm
  • 10 am - 4 pm except for access

Am I correct in thinking that the first one means "Cars allowed for access between 10 am and 4 pm only " and the second one is "No cars between 10 am and 4 pm except for access".

I realize the ambiguity of the sign, and want to make sure what I'm saying is correct.

  • I'm voting to close this as too localized--I don't think future users will be able to apply this since it's very specific to your case. – simchona Aug 26 '11 at 10:09
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    I'm struggling to fully understand this question. – Jimi Oke Aug 26 '11 at 13:24
  • @simchona: I agree it is too localized as written but could be modified (greatly) to make something usable. Grammar to mean 'exceptions in negative situations? – Mitch Aug 26 '11 at 13:58
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    The question seems just asking an opinion about what to write in a sign. There are many signs that are not 100% grammatically correct, but they are understood the same. Then, if what the sign means is that cars are not allowed to park there, why doesn't it say "no parking allowed"? – kiamlaluno Aug 26 '11 at 17:57
  • @Mitch--But the OP is also aiming for brevity in order to fit on the sign. It would be "exceptions in negative situations when you only have X many characters to do so" – simchona Aug 26 '11 at 20:54
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I'd say, stating it in a clearer way would be better:

10am - 4pm access only. No parking during this time.

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