Madam - signage sunday - shifted

Just a quick Signage Sunday for you this week.

And we’re actually going to be talking about the usage of Indian English too – you know, like this blog is supposed to do.

The original blog plan was to always be doing this sort of post and not simply ‘fessing up to shouting at cripples or going on and on about the lovely places I visit

So this is us, back on track.

Now in Standard English using the word shifted in this context would be a bit lower class and frankly a bit Northern (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s looked down on in many quarters of the South of England).

Things shift if they are moved in place – a building might shift on it’s foundations to cause subsidence. You might say that there was an enormous pile of gravel that needed to be shifted before work could start…

But even so, with that last one, you’d be better off saying ‘moved’.

Shifted – isn’t really used. And it’s a bit ‘common’. You’d most often hear it, in the oh-so-elegant ‘shift your arse’ to ask someone to move out of your way, who was being a bit reluctant about it.

You most certainly wouldn’t put it on a very polite notice to your clients saying that you’ve moved locations.

Madam - signage sunday - shifted next buildingAnd you wouldn’t say it in relation to moving house – here you often hear people say ‘oh yes, I shifted’. Which to the British ear sounds either rather vulgar, a little bit evasive (we have a word for dodgy that is ‘shifty’), or downright geological (the glacier shifted).

I’d be interested where this particular usage of shifted came from in India. Did the Victorians use the word in this form? I’d love to know.

If you do happen to know – then please add a comment below. I wait agog for more information.

PS – just one last thought – just how poisonous does the food look in that top sign? The vegetable puff, which is that nasty looking flat pastry thing, looks like it might bite and the milkshake thing is actually a coffee of some sort. Imagine.

No wonder India is the late onset diabetes capitol of the world…


This is part of my ongoing Signage Sunday series – which fairly obviously is about signs. There’s a regular non-sign related post on a Wednesday (and sometimes on other days as well, but always on a Wednesday).

So if you’ve enjoyed this, then do check out these other Signage Sunday gems:

Windmills of your mind

The Synapse Nest

The retiring room

Or check out the complete list of Signage Sunday

Do please comment below (perhaps if we’re lucky the facebook comments will even show up!) – and of course, do subscribe and tell all your chums.