Stop. Go. Buy. Beware. Eat. Drink. Signs inform, instruct, cajole and convince. And, in a secondary role, they tell you you’re somewhere different (if indeed you are). Leave the comfortable familiarity of your homeland and, the sound of foreign tongues aside (and I still include the narrowing linguistic divide that is/was British/American English), the most immediate difference is the look of the signs. From the sheriff badge-shape of highway numbers to the design brilliance of 50s motel signs, they all instantly say ‘America’.

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