Monday, May 07, 2007

South Africa Day # 2

One of my favourite stories that I tell about being South African.

I have always used the words robots and traffic lights interchangeably. Robots more often than traffic lights. My host parents in USA had no idea what I was talking about when I told them I rode through red robot because I did not realise that it was hang up high in the middle of the road.
By the end of the year they were also calling traffic lights - robots.

So why do we call them robots?........I had no idea until I looked it up on Wikipedia:
Robot, robots
- besides the standard meaning, in South Africa this is also used for traffic lights. The etymology of the word derives from a description of early traffic lights as robot policemen, which then got truncated with time.

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