Toynbee Tiles

16 Apr

Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing coined the useful phrase “hyperbolic bronnerian” to describe “crazy mushed up text with LOTS OF ALL CAPS! BOLD! I-T-A-L-I-C ! Nnnnnooooo negative space!” Such as the labels found on Dr. Bronner‘s magic soap.

One of the many examples of this type of writing is the phenomena of Toynbee tiles, found in many big cities. These tiles are strange messages, somehow, embedded into street asphalt. Here is an example:



Here is an article on Toynbee tiles in Cleveland:

“The story behind the tile is as odd as the message: it’s one of more than 500 so-called Toynbee tiles with similar wording found in the middle of streets between Boston and Buenos Aires since the early 1980s. No one knows for sure who made the tiles”


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