Is there a linguist in the room?

I recently encountered the following sign:

game crossing

I immediately thought of this:


When I got home, I looked up what Mr. Merriam-Webster had to say:


  1. 1a (1) :  activity engaged in for diversion or amusement :  play (2) :  the equipment for a gameb :  often derisive or mocking jesting :  fun, sport <make game of a nervous player>

  2. 2a :  a procedure or strategy for gaining an end :  tacticb :  an illegal or shady scheme or maneuver :  racket

  3. 3a (1) :  a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other (2) :  a division of a larger contest (3) :  the number of points necessary to win (4) :  points scored in certain card games (as in all fours) by a player whose cards count up the highest (5) :  the manner of playing in a contest (6) :  the set of rules governing a game (7) :  a particular aspect or phase of play in a game or sport<a football team’s kicking game>b plural :  organized athleticsc (1) :  a field of gainful activity :  line <the newspaper game> (2) :  any activity undertaken or regarded as a contest involving rivalry, strategy, or struggle <the dating game> <thegame of politics>; also :  the course or period of such an activity <got into aviation early in the game> (3) :  area of expertise :  specialty 3 <comedy is not my game>

  4. 4a (1) :  animals under pursuit or taken in hunting; especially :  wild animals hunted for sport or food (2) :  the flesh of game animalsb archaic :  pluckc :  a target or object especially of ridicule or attack —often used in the phrase fair game


I was not out in the boonies nor was I anywhere near a wild animal preserve.  In fact, I was in a populated area close to businesses and within a quarter of a mile of a college campus.

Then I understood. College students majoring in urban planning/sign design just forgot to add “r” at the end of “game.”

Now it makes sense.