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(BBC-US)   Psychologists attempt to answer the question: Why is it so hard to give good directions? Subby contends the question should be: Why is it so hard for people to follow good directions?   (bbc.com) divider line 119
    More: Interesting, good directions  
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3418 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Nov 2012 at 11:25 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-06 10:10:42 PM
Better question - Why is it so difficult for men to ask for or follow them?
 
2012-11-06 10:14:13 PM
I told her way up yonder past the caution light
There's a little country store with an old Coke sign
You gotta stop in and ask Miss Bell for some of her sweet tea
Then a left will take you to the interstate
But a right will bring you right back here to me
 
2012-11-06 11:12:44 PM
I once, st the age of seven, have directions to a grown man to chuck e cheese. I never been, and he got lost following the van full of my fellow girl scouts.

No left and right from me. Cardinal directions.
 
2012-11-06 11:55:17 PM
Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."
 
2012-11-06 11:57:10 PM
Despite what the Android partisans will tell you, Apple Maps gives perfectly fine directions.
 
2012-11-07 12:09:55 AM
I give directions almost entirely by landmark. I freely admit that they are terrible unless you are navigationallyl challenged in a similar way.
 
2012-11-07 12:11:33 AM
Psychologists attempt to answer the question: Why do people from both primary parties resist the obvious 9/11 truth?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEGgAk1AbA4

/FFTM
 
2012-11-07 12:34:39 AM

Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."


THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?
 
TWX
2012-11-07 12:35:37 AM
I observed a lady in a convenience store asking the clerk for directions, who honestly, seemed equally lost.

I drive to various sites over an approximately 100 square mile area in a large suburban city, and I did field work in the entire metro area for many years before that. There are some freeways over on the west side that I can't give info on, but those were built after I stopped serving that area and are the better part of fifty miles from where I live and work.

Ask people who drive around for a living. Those people will probably give you the best directions, since they've actually been there, and are there all of the time.
 
2012-11-07 12:36:39 AM
The problem is that I know how to get there without thinking. And I can also adapt to screwing up the path I was planning to take.

It's also why grandma's recipe cards never seem to come out right. They're more like a checklist than a complete recipe, or there's something like a five minute rest where the dough or batter hydrates where grandma went and washed a bowl.

So, when I do have to give directions I ditch the little wiggles I normally make and try to think of the most direct route. My own route might contain a few twists and turns that bypass construction traffic but I'll try to get you there without having to be familiar with the construction. That familiarity is my key out of clusterfark gridlock at rush hour, I know how to bypass the worst of things. Protip: One major surface street over from the disaster zone isn't going to be much better.
 
2012-11-07 12:42:22 AM
I KICK ASS at explaining things. All subjects. All ages. The secret is to pretend you are a complete n00b. With younger people, assume ZERO implied knowledge, even things like gravity and friction.

FTA: This same quirk is why teaching is so difficult to do well. Once you are familiar with a topic it is very hard to understand what someone who isn't familiar with it needs to know.

Why is this so difficult??? It's simply about empathy. Have we become a world of Asperger sufferers?

And I agree. "Smart" people are the worst. One of my best mates, an IT expert who has done plenty of hours in help desk / training roles, was trying to explain predictive text to me when it first came out.

I was just about to punch him in the neck, when another friend overheard us and she explained it to me perfectly in about 15 words. IT expert was suitably embarrassed; at least I'll give him that.

Too many people in business are given training roles who couldn't even train a goldfish to know when it's feeding time. Many necks need to be punched.
 
TWX
2012-11-07 12:47:42 AM

Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?


At night I have trouble with cardinal directions frequently, but then again, it's not often that I drive somewhere at night that I don't already know how to get to.
 
2012-11-07 12:54:16 AM

balisane: I give directions almost entirely by landmark. I freely admit that they are terrible unless you are navigationallyl challenged in a similar way.


My dad does this.

"Where do I turn off?"
"Go down the highway until off on your left you'll see that bluff where we went arrowhead hunting when you were twelve and your sister found that bead in an anthill. After that, look for a leaning juniper and take the first road to the right."
"Is there a FS road number?"
"Yeah, but I don't remember what it is right now."
"Um, what mile markers is it between?"
"I don't know. Don't you remember that bluff?"
"Yeah, vaguely, but that was 20 years ago. And I wasn't driving."
"I'll put a paper plate with our name on it on a fencepost by the side of the road."
"I guess that will work."
 
2012-11-07 12:58:34 AM

TWX: At night I have trouble with cardinal directions frequently, but then again, it's not often that I drive somewhere at night that I don't already know how to get to.


i46.tinypic.com

NOBODY expects to drive somewhere at night where they don't already know how to get to!
 
2012-11-07 01:01:18 AM

Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?


I get pretty irritated with that as well. Trying to give directions to someone and then they're like "How do I know which direction west is?" Dammit, you've lived in this area since birth and you couldn't even at least manage to remember that one mountain is north and the other mountain is southeast?
 
2012-11-07 01:01:41 AM
I didn't even know about cardinal directions until this thread. Thanks, Fark. I learned something.

/now back to killing my brain with vodak
 
TWX
2012-11-07 01:11:47 AM

Big Ramifications: I KICK ASS at explaining things. All subjects. All ages. The secret is to pretend you are a complete n00b. With younger people, assume ZERO implied knowledge, even things like gravity and friction.

FTA: This same quirk is why teaching is so difficult to do well. Once you are familiar with a topic it is very hard to understand what someone who isn't familiar with it needs to know.

Why is this so difficult??? It's simply about empathy. Have we become a world of Asperger sufferers?

And I agree. "Smart" people are the worst. One of my best mates, an IT expert who has done plenty of hours in help desk / training roles, was trying to explain predictive text to me when it first came out.


Most people have a hard time understanding that the other party in the conversation does not necessarily possess all of the supporting information. The person on the mentor side assumes that the person on the protege side knows more than they actually do, and since showing weakness can cause problems, frequently the protege side doesn't stop the mentor side and ask for clarification.

Several months ago at work I was requested to make a write-up on what "E-rate" is, which is a federal project that we're participating in. The easiest way to explain it was to go back to when it was passed in 1997, what it's actual name was at passing, who administers it, the purpose of it, and how the funding works. It's easy to say that E-rate puts in more network connectivity, but that doesn't really help someone not in my line of work understand why. Explaining that it's part of the Universal Service fund, a law passed to enable the federal government, through the FCC, to identify and correct telecommunications infrastructure deficiencies in schools, hospitals, clinics, and libraries throughout the country, and to pay the lions' share of the bill to upgrade the telecommunications in those facilities in the form of phones, ethernet cabling, and wireless networking, is not hard to do, but requires one to go back to basics to explain it. It doesn't even require the use of analogies or comparisons to convey if one takes a moment to consider before explaining.
 
2012-11-07 01:34:55 AM
I Drive. If You are incapable of giving Correct, Truck route directions with specific details including Street names, Compass points, and state and federal route numbers, YOU ARE USELESS to me.
That's why I now use an expensive computer w helpful pictures coordinated w lat,lon, and GPS to write my own dir. Just give me a correct address.
Sheesh!
 
2012-11-07 01:37:01 AM
"Ya just go down the road 'bout three sees and turn left at the corner of the pasture where old Joe used to keep his bulls. Course old Joe died 'bout 10 yars ago, and the fences are gone and the path's all growed up now. Ya cain't miss it."
 
2012-11-07 01:39:23 AM

FunkOut: Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?

I get pretty irritated with that as well. Trying to give directions to someone and then they're like "How do I know which direction west is?" Dammit, you've lived in this area since birth and you couldn't even at least manage to remember that one mountain is north and the other mountain is southeast?


nice pocket protectors you got there. keep pretending you are not the minority of how people are, and let it bother you. scouts, hikers, hunters and people with little ball compass' on their dashboard know the direction. most people do not, and you know that. a heck of a lot of people have never seen a compass much less don't know how to use one or know how to find what direction they are facing.
 
2012-11-07 01:42:33 AM
Why can't women give directions without using landmarks? My mother is the worst at it. "Go to (building A) then turn left to (building B) then right til (building C)..... wtf you biatch just give me the goddamn address.
 
2012-11-07 01:43:42 AM

Monongahela Misfit: I Drive. If You are incapable of giving Correct, Truck route directions with specific details including Street names, Compass points, and state and federal route numbers, YOU ARE USELESS to me.
That's why I now use an expensive computer w helpful pictures coordinated w lat,lon, and GPS to write my own dir. Just give me a correct address.
Sheesh!


I have seen many eyes glaze over when I tell them to go north/south/east/or west on a street.
 
2012-11-07 01:47:31 AM

KrispyKritter: FunkOut: Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?

I get pretty irritated with that as well. Trying to give directions to someone and then they're like "How do I know which direction west is?" Dammit, you've lived in this area since birth and you couldn't even at least manage to remember that one mountain is north and the other mountain is southeast?

nice pocket protectors you got there. keep pretending you are not the minority of how people are, and let it bother you. scouts, hikers, hunters and people with little ball compass' on their dashboard know the direction. most people do not, and you know that. a heck of a lot of people have never seen a compass much less don't know how to use one or know how to find what direction they are facing.


Hi there, you're the guy who said nice things to me in a couple of other threads. I remember you.

But no, I would assume most people who live in my area would remember where things are in regards to the directions. Mostly because if you head south for about an hour you will be in America and if you head north you will hit the river. The valley is only so big.
 
2012-11-07 01:51:37 AM
quickfacts.census.gov
Everyone who ever came out of this state, my dad, my aunt and uncle, my grandparents, and all of their friends, can't give directions for shiat.
 
2012-11-07 01:53:04 AM

Trocadero: [quickfacts.census.gov image 850x265]
Everyone who ever came out of this state, my dad, my aunt and uncle, my grandparents, and all of their friends, can't give directions for shiat.


Good god. Are those counties?
 
2012-11-07 01:59:00 AM
Because most people are Askholes!

vintagemetalart.com
 
2012-11-07 01:59:10 AM

7th Son of a 7th Son: Why can't women give directions without using landmarks? My mother is the worst at it. "Go to (building A) then turn left to (building B) then right til (building C)..... wtf you biatch just give me the goddamn address.


Actually, they can. You're probably just generalising. Also, not all women love shoe shopping.
 
2012-11-07 01:59:31 AM

KrispyKritter:

nice pocket protectors you got there. keep pretending you are not the minority of how people are, and let it bother you. scouts, hikers, hunters and people with little ball compass' on their dashboard know the direction. most people do not, and you know that. a heck of a lot of people have never seen a compass much less don't know how to use one or know how to find what direction they are facing.


Well, you can find the restrooms on your own, now.
 
2012-11-07 02:01:00 AM
I was going out to dinner with a cousin from St. Joseph, MO and she was going over all the usual red barn behind a billboard turn right directions so I asked the name of the restaurant which was in an antebellum house in a tiny town about 40 miles away with no freeway there and just plugged it into Google maps in my first smart phone. It was the darkest drive I've been on in decades over roads that were converted from cow trails and I still got there as they were walking into the place. They were expecting me to be as much as an hour late and she and her hubby switched to smart phones on that one experience.

Directions suck because very little is truly unique. There are lots of barns and lots of billboards.
 
2012-11-07 02:02:08 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Trocadero: [quickfacts.census.gov image 850x265]
Everyone who ever came out of this state, my dad, my aunt and uncle, my grandparents, and all of their friends, can't give directions for shiat.

Good god. Are those counties?


Tennessee has a fetish about their counties. Every license plate has the county name on it. Trivia question: which county is Knoxville in?
 
2012-11-07 02:12:23 AM
I would say that 7 out of 10 times when I ask someone who's giving me directions, what the cross-street is at my destination with the street they're having me travel, it's a road that I know to be parallel with that same road.
 
2012-11-07 02:14:34 AM

FunkOut: Also, not all women love shoe shopping


Amputees.
 
2012-11-07 02:17:13 AM
When I give directions, I not only reference street names, but also landmarks. Sometimes one is easier to see than the other, and sometimes people are better able to decode one than the other.
 
2012-11-07 02:29:21 AM

Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."


In fairness, cardinal directions are muddled by the farked up highway and street systems employed by moronic cities who let retailers and real estate developers plan their transportation. Where I live, if you take 3 left turns you're likely in another town, not back on the road you began. I have a tendency to get turned around when the streets are so tortuous. Some people grow up in these monstrosities and spend their whole lives there. Ask someone which way is South in a mall parking lot and they'll probably point down. The whole farking southeast is like this, with the added bonus that trees obstruct everything and signs are basically illegal.

/In my experience, doctors and people who live in the middle of nowhere give the worst directions.
//Don't try to visit a doctor who lives in the middle of nowhere.
 
2012-11-07 02:34:10 AM
If I'm giving someone complicated directions I like to bust out street view on Google Maps.

A picture's worth a thousand words and all that.
 
2012-11-07 02:42:36 AM
When giving directions, use as few words as possible. If your sentences are more than 10 words long, edit. I bet Hemingway gave great directions.

Use as few direction words as possible. 99% of people can't handle more than about three changes in direction. I once heard someone give directions like this: "Right outside this door, enter the west side of the south building and turn left into the north side and it'll be right there." The victim just spun in place.
 
2012-11-07 02:44:09 AM

TWX: Explaining that it's part of the Universal Service fund, a law passed to enable the federal government, through the FCC, to identify and correct telecommunications infrastructure deficiencies in schools, hospitals, clinics, and libraries throughout the country, and to pay the lions' share of the bill to upgrade the telecommunications in those facilities in the form of phones, ethernet cabling, and wireless networking, is not hard to ...

~
~
You and me, baby! Erm. I think.

Just the other day I observed a mother getting impatient with a 4yo regarding being a messy eater. "pull your plate closer!" was all she kept on saying. Poor kid was confused coz he couldn't pull it any closer.

The problem was obvious. He'd eaten all the near food, and all the remaining food was on the FAR side of his dinner plate.

So I leaned over. "Watch this." And I slowly rotated his plate 180 degrees. Then I added a "Woah!" to make it fun.

Later out of the corner of my eye I could see him rotating his plate, testing my theory to its limits. Made me feel really good.

But my point is: "Plate rotating" was a new concept to him. I could spot the problem immediately, 90% of the adult population would keep saying "pull your plate closer!"

Mum couldn't even spot the correct solution. So double derp for her.

// FIGJAM
 
2012-11-07 02:56:07 AM

Neumahn: Because most people are Askholes!

[vintagemetalart.com image 590x590]

~
FARKING THIS^^^

As a gym instructor I found this to be incredibly frustrating. People would constantly come up to me for advice [both where I worked - duh, and social settings once they found out what I did]. It wouldn't be uncommon for someone to nod away for 30 minutes and then COMPLETELY IGNORE my advice.

Farking askholes. Just broke my spirit after a few years. I can totally understand how doctors and the like quickly get jaded, just punching the clock and handing out pills.

// long retired gym instructor - it's a young persons' game
 
2012-11-07 03:00:12 AM

moothemagiccow: In fairness, cardinal directions are muddled by the farked up highway and street systems employed by moronic cities who let retailers and real estate developers plan their transportation. Where I live, if you take 3 left turns you're likely in another town, not back on the road you began.

~
Testify. I've got an average sense of direction. Parallel streets that become perpendicular half a mile down the road freaken do my head in!
 
2012-11-07 03:01:52 AM
call center = bad

inbound call center = worse

inbound call center offering public transport advice = farking insanity
 
2012-11-07 03:16:04 AM
"A strong mind is ill-suited to advising a weak mind because it cannot follow the thoughts of the latter." -- Catherine the Great

"If the boy was smart enough to do what you're telling him, you wouldn't need to tell him." -- my grandfather
 
2012-11-07 03:17:06 AM
Two wrongs don't make a right.

... but three lefts do.

And you pompous people and your "cardinal" directions... knock it off.

1. People are asking because they don't know where they are.
2. Drop you in a strange city on a cloudy night... drive around for 3 minutes and you won't know where north is either.

Just tell me left or right Magellan... If I had my sextant I wouldn't be asking for directions.

/the key to giving good directions is to not be a moron.
 
2012-11-07 03:37:06 AM
As someone who has a second job at a gas station, I can tell you that most people don't believe your directions. I have to repeat myself at least twice before people actually listen.
 
2012-11-07 03:41:29 AM

Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?


Do you only ever drive in a grid-based place like Salt Lake City? There's a road near me that literally covers about 330 degrees of the compass. Good luck keeping track of what direction you're facing at any given time.

There's also a state highway marked North that spends a good amount of time travelling south/southwest. So if you told someone to go east on a cross street, they'd have to turn left.
 
2012-11-07 04:16:16 AM
I live in a neighborhood next to a large park and people almost daily stop and ask me for directions while I'm walking my dog. I don't know how well they follow them once they drive away, but the problem seems to be that they don't even want to listen to them. Like if it isn't just "go straight and turn left" they just get impatient and glassy-eyed.
 
2012-11-07 04:30:04 AM
For those of you who don't get why people can't follow cardinal directions, I invite you to drive in Atlanta, where roads curve in unexpected directions and cross each other at multiple points, some are giant circles, and half of them are named "Peachtree." To go north on I-285 you go south or east if you're starting out south of the city, but west or east if you start in other locations. I could go on...
I can find my way around because I've lived here all my life, but I've seen grid-city people reduced to a helpless, hand-wringing puddle of tears trying to figure it out.
If they're nice about it, I help them find their way. If they end up cursing the South and the morons who built it, I figure they can find their own way or go back home.
 
2012-11-07 04:40:18 AM

Aces and Eights: If they end up cursing the South and the morons who built it, I figure they can find their own way or go back home.


If the place is designed to keep people out, let it do its job.

Never had this problem in Texas. You guys can't even blame your wriggling roads on rivers.
 
2012-11-07 04:52:29 AM

cheap_thoughts: I once, st the age of seven, have directions to a grown man to chuck e cheese. I never been, and he got lost following the van full of my fellow girl scouts.

No left and right from me. Cardinal directions.


the whole thing?

/esl fail ?
//drugs?
 
2012-11-07 05:01:59 AM

moothemagiccow: Aces and Eights: If they end up cursing the South and the morons who built it, I figure they can find their own way or go back home.

If the place is designed to keep people out, let it do its job.

Never had this problem in Texas. You guys can't even blame your wriggling roads on rivers.


Well, except for that whole Chattahoochee thing. But you're right. Mostly the roads here evolved from the central terminus (railroad crossing) and just kind of grew outward from there.
So far I haven't seen our roads keeping people out though.
 
2012-11-07 05:13:40 AM
You had me at, "Why is it so hard to give good..."
 
2012-11-07 05:14:38 AM

Aces and Eights: So far I haven't seen our roads keeping people out though.


Isn't that what the whole suburb thing is for? Impeding traffic so neighborhoods are quiet? I'm just assuming Atlanta was a nice little downtown that ate a bunch of suburbs last century.

//off to read about atlanta
//holy shiat you guys have a subway
 
2012-11-07 05:31:15 AM

moothemagiccow: Aces and Eights: So far I haven't seen our roads keeping people out though.

Isn't that what the whole suburb thing is for? Impeding traffic so neighborhoods are quiet? I'm just assuming Atlanta was a nice little downtown that ate a bunch of suburbs last century.

//off to read about atlanta
//holy shiat you guys have a subway


Ha ha! Indeed we do. But it's completely under-utilized.

And yes Atlanta expanded exponentially, mostly northwards, in the last quarter of the last century. Ate up suburbs, and had to create more suburbs out of rural areas, then ate those up too.
 
2012-11-07 06:18:10 AM

Aces and Eights: Mostly the roads here evolved from the central terminus (railroad crossing) and just kind of grew outward from there.


Well, there was that little disagreement roughly 150 years ago; like the Great London fire, they COULD have fixed the downtown grid but didn't so you have one grid that ran parallel/perpendicular to the railroad, then married it to a north-south grid. And even though we can't directly blame rivers, we can blame water, because they plopped Atlanta down onto a bunch of rolling hills, astride what's left of the Eastern Continental Divide. "We need a road." "Great. Just follow that ridgeline...mostly."

This becomes apparent when you either ride a bicycle in Atlanta, or we have an ice storm.  

I was going to make a Pascual Pérez remark, but he was recently murdered.
 
2012-11-07 06:56:37 AM
Wait....you lost me subby...
 
2012-11-07 07:15:58 AM
Ask a technical writer, subby, because we're the ones who write directions for a living.
 
2012-11-07 07:26:06 AM
I wish I had a nickel for every time someone asked me directions to Bass Pro Shop {the big one}.
/Ozarkian Hillbillyus
 
2012-11-07 07:31:31 AM
What kind of douche gives cardinal directions? "Yeah, just go north on Main Street, then go east on Birch Street. What's that? You're not familiar with the area and don't immediately know which way north is? Oh, you silly fool, you're so much dumber than I am!"

/Ok, its 93 north to 3, but its four traffic lights, you hit a Chevron station, and a little past that there's gonna be a retahded kid selling fireworks. Hang a left by him you're at the Jordan Marsh pal
 
2012-11-07 07:36:48 AM
What the hell are you guys talking about? It's perfectly easy to give directions and perfectly easy to follow them. God I hate stupid people.
 
2012-11-07 07:37:48 AM
Is the sun coming up?! Then put it on the left!

images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-11-07 07:42:28 AM
1. Ask whether they prefer turn-based or compass-based directions. I prefer turn-based in urban or densely populated areas, but compass-based in rural areas with few landmarks or signs.
2. Do not give "your favorite route," but the route most likely to be travelled by someone going there the first time, if you have a choice.
3. Do not use landmarks that cannot be recognized from a moving vehicle or require local knowledge to recognize. Seriously, if I have to hear another "go north once you cross into Old Man Parson's property" or "take a left at the tree that was struck by lightning about three years ago during the banjo jamboree," I'll throttle you.
4. Try not to give a route that cannot be retraced for the return trip, or at least warn the person receiving the directions that they won't be able to return using that route.
5. Learn to write down directions when received.
 
2012-11-07 07:44:08 AM

Wodan11: Is the sun coming up?! Then put it on the left!

[images4.wikia.nocookie.net image 538x424]


Yeah, I loved that. Works great when the sun's close enough to the horizon to tell. Try doing it at noon.
 
2012-11-07 08:03:00 AM

FormlessOne: Wodan11: Is the sun coming up?! Then put it on the left!

[images4.wikia.nocookie.net image 538x424]

Yeah, I loved that. Works great when the sun's close enough to the horizon to tell. Try doing it at noon.


Is it winter? Noon sun is in the south.
Summer? Yer Farked.

I second the nod to turn base in city, cardinal in rural.

Also, if the roads aren't grid style, feel free to desecrate the graves of the sorry road designers, and short sighted city planners, then learn where the roads go anyway.

If the roads You are directing traffic over are Curvaceous like an alluring Lady, add that detail to your directions. Yes it's important. Also, if while approaching a turn, the street sign marking the intersection is twisted, obstructed, or missing, Say so, and fix it yourself if You can sometime, or, Call, visit, write, and otherwise bother, and harass your department of transportation until they fix it. Here in PA, I have them on speed dial.
 
2012-11-07 08:10:20 AM

TWX: Most people have a hard time understanding that the other party in the conversation does not necessarily possess all of the supporting information. The person on the mentor side assumes that the person on the protege side knows more than they actually do, and since showing weakness can cause problems, frequently the protege side doesn't stop the mentor side and ask for clarification.


This effect is why at least some Fark threads devolve into everyone talking around each other, because everyone is coming in with their own loaded assumptions but not exposing them, frustrating everyone involved, even the audience. Most threads involve at least two people doing this at some point, while political threads are pretty much nothing but.
 
2012-11-07 08:13:29 AM

Unobtanium: Aces and Eights: Mostly the roads here evolved from the central terminus (railroad crossing) and just kind of grew outward from there.

Well, there was that little disagreement roughly 150 years ago; like the Great London fire, they COULD have fixed the downtown grid but didn't so you have one grid that ran parallel/perpendicular to the railroad, then married it to a north-south grid. And even though we can't directly blame rivers, we can blame water, because they plopped Atlanta down onto a bunch of rolling hills, astride what's left of the Eastern Continental Divide. "We need a road." "Great. Just follow that ridgeline...mostly."

This becomes apparent when you either ride a bicycle in Atlanta, or we have an ice storm.  

I was going to make a Pascual Pérez remark, but he was recently murdered.


"That little disagreement." Frankly, that was elegantly understated, my dear.

And if you're riding a bike in Atlanta, you are a brave, brave soul. My cousin commutes 10 miles per day from Decatur to Atlanta and back, ice storm or no. That amazes me.
 
2012-11-07 08:15:06 AM

FormlessOne: 1. Ask whether they prefer turn-based or compass-based directions. I prefer turn-based in urban or densely populated areas, but compass-based in rural areas with few landmarks or signs.
2. Do not give "your favorite route," but the route most likely to be travelled by someone going there the first time, if you have a choice.
3. Do not use landmarks that cannot be recognized from a moving vehicle or require local knowledge to recognize. Seriously, if I have to hear another "go north once you cross into Old Man Parson's property" or "take a left at the tree that was struck by lightning about three years ago during the banjo jamboree," I'll throttle you.
4. Try not to give a route that cannot be retraced for the return trip, or at least warn the person receiving the directions that they won't be able to return using that route.
5. Learn to write down directions when received.


Wait, I missed the banjo jamboree?? Dang.
 
2012-11-07 08:27:58 AM

Aces and Eights: FormlessOne: 1. Ask whether they prefer turn-based or compass-based directions. I prefer turn-based in urban or densely populated areas, but compass-based in rural areas with few landmarks or signs.
2. Do not give "your favorite route," but the route most likely to be travelled by someone going there the first time, if you have a choice.
3. Do not use landmarks that cannot be recognized from a moving vehicle or require local knowledge to recognize. Seriously, if I have to hear another "go north once you cross into Old Man Parson's property" or "take a left at the tree that was struck by lightning about three years ago during the banjo jamboree," I'll throttle you.
4. Try not to give a route that cannot be retraced for the return trip, or at least warn the person receiving the directions that they won't be able to return using that route.
5. Learn to write down directions when received.

Wait, I missed the banjo jamboree?? Dang.


Yeah, the one where they served deep-fried Ho-Hos. Awesome, it was. Awesome.
 
2012-11-07 08:34:14 AM

moothemagiccow: In fairness, cardinal directions are muddled by the farked up highway and street systems employed by moronic cities who let retailers and real estate developers plan their transportation.


Maybe I'm silly, but I prefer roads that actually get you places, instead of roads that exist only because they're near-exact half-mile or mile separations on an arbitrary grid that doesn't even exactly match up with a compass, forcing you to make multiple turns to get to any destination no matter how big.

I grew up in a railroad city, and I live in another one, and the differences are stark: The first one is the confluence of multiple highways all radiating in different directions, pretty much anywhere you want to go outside town there's a direct route. Yeah, it's more complex to learn and roads don't all intersect at right angles, but it's much faster getting places when you need to. North/South is whichever way the main railroad runs. Now Fresno started out that way, but as soon as it grew out of its original square immediately laid a cardinal grid with roads every half mile, and forced the entire rest of the city layout into that with nearly no shortcuts to get places more quickly than braving left turns at many crappy congested lights. Formerly direct roads were even ripped up and rebuilt into a grid as suburbs popped up.

Fortunately, the freeways eventually restored a couple of direct routes, but damn, going any direction other than due N/W/S/E sucks here.
 
2012-11-07 08:44:25 AM
My husband gave me directions like this one time " take hwy 270 to the first light. Turn right at the light. Make a left at the first stop sign...."
He neglected to tell me that it was 11 miles down the road to that first stop sign. I traversed the first 5 miles three times looking for the stop sign. His argument? You should have just done what I told you to do.
 
2012-11-07 08:45:52 AM
Because half of "people" are women.
 
2012-11-07 08:46:45 AM
Be thankful you don't ever have my girlfriend giving you directions...

Me: "So I make the next left?"
Her: "Right."
Me: "Right, as in correct? Or right as in right?"
Her: "Right here you turn left."
 
2012-11-07 08:49:01 AM

TomD9938: FunkOut: Also, not all women love shoe shopping

Amputees.


Thalidomide babies.
 
2012-11-07 08:50:20 AM

Aces and Eights: If they're nice about it, I help them find their way. If they end up cursing the South and the morons who built it, I figure they can find their own way or go back home.


Or just burn it down again and start over.
 
2012-11-07 08:50:54 AM

Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions.


Well, pal, when I can fly like a goddamn bird, then I'll understand their directions. Until that day, tell me which way to go.
 
2012-11-07 08:51:50 AM

TWX: I observed a lady in a convenience store asking the clerk for directions, who honestly, seemed equally lost.

I drive to various sites over an approximately 100 square mile area in a large suburban city, and I did field work in the entire metro area for many years before that. There are some freeways over on the west side that I can't give info on, but those were built after I stopped serving that area and are the better part of fifty miles from where I live and work.

Ask people who drive around for a living. Those people will probably give you the best directions, since they've actually been there, and are there all of the time.


Pizza delivery guys?
 
2012-11-07 08:51:51 AM

Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?


It's trickier in states like Connecticut, where two northbound routes might be traveling perpendicular to each other.
 
2012-11-07 08:52:19 AM

FormlessOne: 3. Do not use landmarks that cannot be recognized from a moving vehicle or require local knowledge to recognize. Seriously, if I have to hear another "go north once you cross into Old Man Parson's property" or "take a left at the tree that was struck by lightning about three years ago during the banjo jamboree," I'll throttle you.


Heh.

In my former home town there is a modest little ice cream stand/diner at a fork in the road. Something like 30 years ago, it was called "Jim's Lunch", and it is still known as such to the locals even though the name has been changed several times, so if they tell you to turn left at "Jim's Lunch", you had better know what it's called currently, or you'll get lost.
 
2012-11-07 08:52:52 AM
Relevant: Link
 
2012-11-07 08:53:11 AM

This text is now purple: Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?

It's trickier in states like Connecticut, where two northbound routes might be traveling perpendicular to each other.


The north side of my town faced east, and the east was facing south.
 
2012-11-07 09:01:01 AM
Sometimes it seems it'd be easier to just raze it all and start over.
 
2012-11-07 09:01:25 AM

Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."


img51.imageshack.us
 
2012-11-07 09:02:42 AM

FunkOut: Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?

I get pretty irritated with that as well. Trying to give directions to someone and then they're like "How do I know which direction west is?" Dammit, you've lived in this area since birth and you couldn't even at least manage to remember that one mountain is north and the other mountain is southeast?


FunkOut: But no, I would assume most people who live in my area would remember where things are in regards to the directions. Mostly because if you head south for about an hour you will be in America and if you head north you will hit the river. The valley is only so big.


Perhaps its possible that the people asking for directions are either new to to your "valley" or aren't from there at all? If so, being obstinate and giving cardinal directions really isn't helping anyone
 
2012-11-07 09:13:03 AM
Wait, I missed the banjo jamboree?? Dang.

Yeah, the one where they served deep-fried Ho-Hos. Awesome, it was. Awesome.


Mmmmmm. Deep fried...........
 
2012-11-07 09:13:10 AM

Aces and Eights: Unobtanium: Aces and Eights: Mostly the roads here evolved from the central terminus (railroad crossing) and just kind of grew outward from there.

Well, there was that little disagreement roughly 150 years ago; like the Great London fire, they COULD have fixed the downtown grid but didn't so you have one grid that ran parallel/perpendicular to the railroad, then married it to a north-south grid. And even though we can't directly blame rivers, we can blame water, because they plopped Atlanta down onto a bunch of rolling hills, astride what's left of the Eastern Continental Divide. "We need a road." "Great. Just follow that ridgeline...mostly."

This becomes apparent when you either ride a bicycle in Atlanta, or we have an ice storm.  

I was going to make a Pascual Pérez remark, but he was recently murdered.

"That little disagreement." Frankly, that was elegantly understated, my dear.

And if you're riding a bike in Atlanta, you are a brave, brave soul. My cousin commutes 10 miles per day from Decatur to Atlanta and back, ice storm or no. That amazes me.


I don't ride anymore. I am not suicidal. I did ride a lot when I lived in Savannah, but it's nice and flat, and in DC, but they had good bike trails.
 
2012-11-07 09:21:18 AM

This text is now purple: Aces and Eights: If they're nice about it, I help them find their way. If they end up cursing the South and the morons who built it, I figure they can find their own way or go back home.

Or just burn it down again and start over.


Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!

Seriously, though......it would be nice to go back in time and do certain things differently, with the insight that we now have about growth, the environment, social issues, infrastructure, etc. etc. etc. 

But Atlanta does have a proud history of proactive community collaboration that was extraordinary at that time. City too busy to hate, and all that.
 
2012-11-07 09:26:31 AM
The good thing about living near the shore of a huge lake is using that as a source for cardinal directions. That, and the sun of course. It's funny what some people use for landmarks though.

Recently I attended a volleyball game in a town I was somehat familiar with, but the game was at the elementary school, not the high school where I showed up (it was a HS game, so it made sense). I found another parent there and asked her how to get to the elementary school:
Her: It's right down the street from Chili's
Me: Is that by the highway?
Her: What highway?
Me: The very big (and only) one, I-94
Her: No, it's near the Chili's
Me: I have no idea where that is, what street is it on?
Her: You know, by the McDonald's
Me: The only McDonald's I know of is by the highway. So is the school north or south of here? Is closer to the lake?
Her: *glazed look*
Me:*drives to gas station for real directions*

I don't have GPS and there was just one G of data, so maps were taking 5 minutes to download.
 
2012-11-07 09:27:14 AM
And if you're riding a bike in Atlanta, you are a brave, brave soul. My cousin commutes 10 miles per day from Decatur to Atlanta and back, ice storm or no. That amazes me.

I don't ride anymore. I am not suicidal. I did ride a lot when I lived in Savannah, but it's nice and flat, and in DC, but they had good bike trails.


Whew! Thank goodness. I was worried about you.
Savannah is awesome for bike riding. Take my bike to Tybee Island and just cruise.
 
2012-11-07 09:31:20 AM
I give cardinal directions first and then tell them what to look for and whether to go left or right from there.

Also, how is it hard for people to determine which way is east / west?
 
2012-11-07 09:31:59 AM
..."see where it says Rib Tips?"...
 
2012-11-07 09:37:34 AM
Girl Directions

Some NSFW Language.
 
2012-11-07 09:42:24 AM

epyonyx: I give cardinal directions first and then tell them what to look for and whether to go left or right from there.

Also, how is it hard for people to determine which way is east / west?


For most people its about the same difficulty level as finding the higgs boson.
 
2012-11-07 10:01:47 AM
How my wife gives directions:

So you get off the highway at the exit past the one for the town I work int, go up to the first light and go straight through it, go through the next 2 or 3 also. You'll go past the restaurant, you know the one where I go to have lunch with my co-workers. The food is reaaally good. They make the best lobster raviolis. Last time we were there I ordered a salad, because it was after Halloween and I ate SO much candy, but I was still hungry and wished I had ordered the ravioli. We'll have to go sometime. When I got back to the office Marge had a whole bowl of left-over Halloween candy and I ate like half the bowl. I was sick the rest of the day and that's why I couldn't eat dinner. Anyway you go past the restaurant and go a few more lights down to the gas station. I think its and Exxon or maybe a Shell. Not the first one the one after that. Did you know they charge more money if you use a credit card?. Ok so go past the gas station and in a few blocks down you turn onto Davis Street, or Davidson Street, maybe it's avenue. Is it street or avenue? Wait it's boulevard, no street, definitely street. So go about 5 minutes and turn on the street with the tree name. What's a common tree name? Anyway it's the gray house about half way around the street. I think Its gray. Just look for a silver car. Doesn't she drive a silver car? I think It's a Honda, it a small SUV...
 
2012-11-07 10:19:38 AM
I run a motel in the summer.
"How do I get to the Kennedy Compound?"
Left, right, left, straight, straight, straight, bear left, straight, straight, left, straight, right, left, left, right, left. Or take the sightseeing boat and get a better view.

/6 Main Streets in Barnstable, Ma
//enjoy your stay
 
2012-11-07 10:42:29 AM

epyonyx: I give cardinal directions first and then tell them what to look for and whether to go left or right from there.

Also, how is it hard for people to determine which way is east / west?


How about just point and say "Go that way" instead of being a dick with people who don`t have a compass on a cloudy day hundreds of miles from where they live?
 
2012-11-07 10:45:37 AM
Of course, if you think that people should have a basic amount of knowledge to interpret your directions, just give them in binary...

ih3.redbubble.net
This is how to get to the library. What do you mean you don`t understand cardinal directions in binary? 

Idiot.
 
2012-11-07 10:47:16 AM
Men give directions like this:

Go North by North West 1.37 clicks and turn 38 degrees, then proceed another 12.48 clicks along Ventura until you come to a crossroads. Turn East and drive 3.8 clicks.

Women give directions like this:

Take this road until you come to a Starbucks--the one on your left, not the one on your right and turn into the street where you see the Baptist Church. Then drive past the good mall--if you pass the Dirtball Mall you've gone too far. Watch for the store with the sale sign in the window on your right and then turn off to your right three streets on when you see the Palme d'Or restaurant.

Rednecks give directions like this:

Take the Farley Road here about seven country miles. When you come to the Barn that isn't there any more, turn off in the Mapplethorpe Road and drive until you come to the Old Smythe farm (which is now owned by the Bradleys, since 1897) and heave a right down the third dirt road (counting the one they paved last year) to the Hurley Quick Pick general store, which will be closed today because today is the day Hurley takes his Mother-in-Law, Mabel, who was born a Steadfast, to Old Doc Thompkins for her allergy shots. If you see a yellow horse and a cow in a field you've gone down the wrong road, so go back to the the Quick Pick and take the second dirt road on the right through the fields until you come to a field of cow peas, then turn right again at the sorghum and watch for a clump of Indian birch. The Sun should then be on your left if you took exactly 32 minutes to get from Hurley's to there ....

There is only one possible conclusion.

They are all useless.
 
2012-11-07 10:49:56 AM
People give shiatty directions.

"Take the rirst right, then second left, then first left, then the fourth right after the light."

"Turn towards Acredale just after you pass the old Miller place, then head due North."

"Right on Second, left on Onowabee, cross Main and then right at the 24/13 interchange."

I give directions based on landmarks that any non-local would rcognize, i.e. "Left at the McDonald's and then it's acros the street from a Bennigans that's a few miles down the road."

My experience is that most directions are either too specific or require local knowledge or are too lengthy (and easily forgotten). For complicated directions, I usually give a landmark to get them in the general area so they can stop to get further directions "There's a 7-11 there that can give you directions to your destination."
 
2012-11-07 10:52:34 AM
Boston.

You can't give good directions. It's impossible. The aren't signs, the streets have been renamed, or the signs are indicating that 2/5 lanes are something other than what they are.
 
2012-11-07 10:54:36 AM

ShannonKW: "If the boy was smart enough to do what you're telling him, you wouldn't need to tell him." -- my grandfather


A wise man.

"Nothing is impossible to the man that doesn't have to do it himself." -- A. H. Weiler
 
2012-11-07 10:59:50 AM
Does anybody else ever give people directions to a certain point, then tell the person to ask somebody once they get to that point? If somebody is looking for a place three towns over, I can't give them turn-by-turn directions without them falling asleep. So I'll give them directions to a gas station that is on the way and once they get there they can get the details they need. I do that a lot in the city, too. If I'm near South Station and somebody asks how to get to Fenway Park (on foot) I'll send them to the Common or Copley Square and tell them to ask somebody once they get there. No sense overloading them with details they'll forget halfway there.
 
2012-11-07 11:00:01 AM
One of my main reasons for not giving better directions is that I don't drive. People who as for directions are often in cars, so I can't help them much because I don't have any recollection for how to get from one place to another in a car unless I have taken a taxi there from whereever you happen to be when you ask for directions. If you don't ask for directions in front of my building, you are out of luck, Bub.

Another reason is that I tend to navigate like a woman, by concrete landmarks, rather than like a man, by compass points and other abstract concepts. I learn how to go from one place to any other place by many different routes (to vary the walk or make various combinations of stops) and I have a good idea where I am, but when you ask me for directions I need quite a bit of time to think things through, remember the names of each street, etc.

The best I can generally do is point you in the right direction and tell you to ask again. I don't get lost myself, though. I know my neighbourhood very well and can plan a trip well enough, but I'm not as much help to other people as I could be or would like to be.

My mental map is excellent and detailed. I can plan a route to avoid beggers, drunks, loonies, or trouble. I can plot a course that takes me to every bookstore, or avoids crosswalks, heavy foot traffic, smog, or rush hour traffice.

It is a lot like the specialized knowledge of a video gamer in that it is difficult or impossible to verbalize--it is spatial and purpose specific but not meant for the guidance of somebody with other needs.

Also, it is very like looking at a watch. If you look at your watch you are asking it a specific question: what is the exact time? How many minutes do I have? etc. If you look at your watch to see how long you have been waiting for the doctor and somebody asks you the time, you have to look at your watch again. You didn't see the time. You saw how many minutes you have been waiting. It's a difficult problem altogether.

And that's why giving good directions is different from navigation and geography. It is a different problem altogether.

I am a great geographer. I am a lousy pilot. It would be easier for me to lead the person asking directions to the location they want than to tell them how to get there, especially if it's only a couple of minutes away.
 
2012-11-07 11:02:01 AM

tommyl66: What kind of douche gives cardinal directions? "Yeah, just go north on Main Street, then go east on Birch Street. What's that? You're not familiar with the area and don't immediately know which way north is? Oh, you silly fool, you're so much dumber than I am!"


Sun rises in the East, sets in the West. From that it's trivial to find North and South. So, unless it's exactly Noon/Midnight and your memory of where the sun rose/set is erased, YES, you are dumb if you can't figure out the cardinal directions. Sorry.
 
2012-11-07 11:05:58 AM

fredklein: tommyl66: What kind of douche gives cardinal directions? "Yeah, just go north on Main Street, then go east on Birch Street. What's that? You're not familiar with the area and don't immediately know which way north is? Oh, you silly fool, you're so much dumber than I am!"

Sun rises in the East, sets in the West. From that it's trivial to find North and South. So, unless it's exactly Noon/Midnight and your memory of where the sun rose/set is erased, YES, you are dumb if you can't figure out the cardinal directions. Sorry.


Or Cloudy days and rainstorms. Or night in general because you can't see the sun, or places where people call Old Route 120 a North/South road despite the fact that it runs East West where you are because for 90% of the 12 miles you won't be driving on it's North/South. Or that it's NNE and they're calling it East. Or the road has 2 option, a slight right and an overly sharp right and they tell you to turn East. WTF? How do I know what the fark you meant. Just say turn the fark right or turn the fark left.
 
2012-11-07 11:35:17 AM
re: landmarks
What surprises me is how many people can drive over or under a bridge, and still not notice it.

/my favorite guy, if I tell him 'under the bridge and turn to the right', will always miss it.
//always noticed overpasses when I had my old dog - she'd duck her head every time we drove under one
///also, its amazing how many people find out 'bridge may freeze before road' the hard way...
 
2012-11-07 11:38:01 AM

AbbeySomeone: Better question - Why is it so difficult for men to ask for or follow them?


Study was done on this and showed that in childhood, male children were encouraged to explore more on their own while female children were carted from point a to point b. Bottom line: men don't consider themselves lost because they are still in their exploration comfort zone, women tend to get alarmed if they aren't on the path.
 
2012-11-07 12:02:48 PM

Mayhem of the Black Underclass: fredklein: tommyl66: What kind of douche gives cardinal directions? "Yeah, just go north on Main Street, then go east on Birch Street. What's that? You're not familiar with the area and don't immediately know which way north is? Oh, you silly fool, you're so much dumber than I am!"

Sun rises in the East, sets in the West. From that it's trivial to find North and South. So, unless it's exactly Noon/Midnight and your memory of where the sun rose/set is erased, YES, you are dumb if you can't figure out the cardinal directions. Sorry.

Or Cloudy days and rainstorms. Or night in general because you can't see the sun, or places where people call Old Route 120 a North/South road despite the fact that it runs East West where you are because for 90% of the 12 miles you won't be driving on it's North/South. Or that it's NNE and they're calling it East. Or the road has 2 option, a slight right and an overly sharp right and they tell you to turn East. WTF? How do I know what the fark you meant. Just say turn the fark right or turn the fark left.


Or what if the road curves for a while?

Gramma: My husband gave me directions like this one time " take hwy 270 to the first light. Turn right at the light. Make a left at the first stop sign...."
He neglected to tell me that it was 11 miles down the road to that first stop sign. I traversed the first 5 miles three times looking for the stop sign. His argument? You should have just done what I told you to do.


At least they didn't say "drive 10 minutes until you get to the next stop sign." Nothing like trying to determine whether you are traveling faster or slower than anticipated, along with determining which stop signs "count" when someone leaves out minor stop signs.
 
2012-11-07 12:02:49 PM

Mayhem of the Black Underclass: Or Cloudy days and rainstorms.


You can often still see where the sun is through the clouds.

Or night in general because you can't see the sun

The moon follows the same line as the sun.

or places where people call Old Route 120 a North/South road despite the fact that it runs East West where you are because for 90% of the 12 miles you won't be driving on it's North/South.

So .they should say 'turn East onto 120 North". I don't see the problem.

Or that it's NNE and they're calling it East. Or the road has 2 option, a slight right and an overly sharp right and they tell you to turn East.

Those are just plain errors. Oh, and the same thing would happen if they told you to 'turn Right' in thast situation.

Just say turn the fark right or turn the fark left.

Maybe I should take your hand and lead you there....
 
2012-11-07 12:10:10 PM

FormlessOne: 1. Ask whether they prefer turn-based or compass-based directions. I prefer turn-based in urban or densely populated areas, but compass-based in rural areas with few landmarks or signs.
2. Do not give "your favorite route," but the route most likely to be travelled by someone going there the first time, if you have a choice.
3. Do not use landmarks that cannot be recognized from a moving vehicle or require local knowledge to recognize. Seriously, if I have to hear another "go north once you cross into Old Man Parson's property" or "take a left at the tree that was struck by lightning about three years ago during the banjo jamboree," I'll throttle you.
4. Try not to give a route that cannot be retraced for the return trip, or at least warn the person receiving the directions that they won't be able to return using that route.
5. Learn to write down directions when received.


2. THIS THIS THIS. Look, I know that you know all of Ms. Todd's Shortcuts. But PLEASE, give directions that are harder to screw up, despite being slightly longer. Old Mapquest directions used to do this, maybe they still do, where you have the shortest route, as determined by switching back and forth on various back roads when the easiest directions are "get on the interstate at exit 15. follow that until exit 22. Get off then turn right, drive that way until you see your destination on the right." Also never preference with "well, the easiest route is...but you don't want to do that, then mention 3 other routes you could take." A person asking for directions cares little for that; they will interrupt if the directions you give them sound difficult. Then you can mention the other possible routes.

4. I don't know how many times I've tried to reverse directions that are impossible to reverse. Most daunting is when you walk out of what you were doing at the destination, then look from your car to realize there is no easy way to get back to step one due to roundabouts or one way streets that don't have a convenient opposite analogue
 
2012-11-07 12:43:18 PM

fredklein: Mayhem of the Black Underclass: Or Cloudy days and rainstorms.

You can often still see where the sun is through the clouds.

Or night in general because you can't see the sun

The moon follows the same line as the sun.

or places where people call Old Route 120 a North/South road despite the fact that it runs East West where you are because for 90% of the 12 miles you won't be driving on it's North/South.

So .they should say 'turn East onto 120 North". I don't see the problem.

Or that it's NNE and they're calling it East. Or the road has 2 option, a slight right and an overly sharp right and they tell you to turn East.

Those are just plain errors. Oh, and the same thing would happen if they told you to 'turn Right' in thast situation.

Just say turn the fark right or turn the fark left.

Maybe I should take your hand and lead you there....


So your argument is that rather than just say left or right, I should make a rough guess of where the sun/moon is in the sky based on where the glow through the clouds is strongest (good luck during a storm or on a cloudy night with no moon), then translate that into a compass direction based on the current time of day (of course at night you'll have to know when moonrise was or at least the current phase of the moon, and you'll probably want a sextant around the summer solstice at lower latitudes) while taking into account daylight saving time and maybe even my location within the time zone, so I can then translate that direction into whether I should go left or right. How about you save me all those steps and just farking say left or right, asshole.
 
2012-11-07 01:55:07 PM
I drew a map for a boss once. She couldn't follow it despite it being one left hand turn and featuring the only landmarks in the area so she could orient herself. She couldn't figure it out because I hadn't named a bus terminal. There was only one bus terminal, and she was not arriving by bus. It was only for reference in relation to the other landmarks. She had to have a women draw a non-"terrible" map without the confusing landmarks.
 
2012-11-07 03:14:01 PM

LandOfChocolate:
FunkOut: But no, I would assume most people who live in my area would remember where things are in regards to the directions. Mostly because if you head south for about an hour you will be in America and if you head north you will hit the river. The valley is only so big.

Perhaps its possible that the people asking for directions are either new to to your "valley" or aren't from there at all? If so, being obstinate and giving cardinal directions really isn't helping anyone


No, I've known the people who ask me for directions for awhile. Everyone else gets a thick Scottish accent and the claim "Sorry, ah jus' mooved here, ah dinnah know where anythin' is cept tha liquor store and tha pie shop."
 
2012-11-07 03:28:18 PM

Lord Huggington: As someone who has a second job at a gas station, I can tell you that most people don't believe your directions. I have to repeat myself at least twice before people actually listen.


THIS!
 
2012-11-07 03:36:47 PM

Wodan11: Is the sun coming up?! Then put it on the left!

[images4.wikia.nocookie.net image 538x424]


My girlfriend and I were rolling on the floor laughing when that part came up! We even rewound it and watched it again.
 
2012-11-07 03:42:42 PM

This text is now purple: Aces and Eights: If they're nice about it, I help them find their way. If they end up cursing the South and the morons who built it, I figure they can find their own way or go back home.

Or just burn it down again and start over.


We tried that. It didn't work out so well the first time, and those folks are known for being stubborn...
 
2012-11-07 04:02:37 PM
And Bushy Baker somewhere in the back woods can't figure out how people don't know where the holler is, or why they have to turn at that ol' hound next to the gas station that shut down years ago.
 
2012-11-07 04:22:13 PM

Beer It's What's For Dinner: How about you save me all those steps and just farking say left or right, asshole.


How about I don't give you directions at all?

/rude
 
2012-11-07 04:43:47 PM
I have twice had people get angry with me about "bad" directions when they admitted that they did not follow the directions. In one case I gave particular emphasis on getting in the right land because the road was going to split, repeated it three times, "get in the right lane." She didn't get in the right lane, went left at the split, therefore my directions were awful and she was never going to listen to me again. Okay.

And then there's my aunt "those were terrible directions, you didn't say if the exit was in Maryland or Virginia."
"It doesn't matter, I gave you the exit number and all the words on the sign."
"But I didn't know if I was in Maryland or Virginia." Sigh.
 
2012-11-07 10:07:06 PM
This will never be uttered again by me on Fark-but I miss Greeley, CO. Streets and Avenues, all numbered-except for the outskirts of town which had resorted to the alphabet system and were somewhat, but not terribly confusing just a little bit baffling at times. Give me an address: 1879 W 31st St. I could actually find it. No problem. Streets ran N and S and Avenues E and W. No sweat, all it was was counting and thankfully I am adequate at math. I lived in Denver both before and after my 7 years in Cowtown and I got lost for a solid hour Monday night in Commerce City, Brighton Blvd, ended up down by Coors Field, had to take the hated Colfax home (once I found it) horrid, upset, car overheating and over 1 hour late. When you don't have a sense of direction life can really suck when you get lost, especially in rush hour traffic and you can't turn on the darned GPS.

/new boss from Cleveland was late today, said she got lost and it took her over an hour. She lives 20 minutes away, I feel her pain 
//and do not get me started on CR and RR crap. They're badly if seldom labeled. Drive towards the mountains! yeah, not so much around here.
 
2012-11-08 09:41:52 AM

This text is now purple: Catlike Typist: Kraftwerk Orange: Most people don't understand cardinal directions. I'll sometimes tell someone to go south on a certain road, and they'll ask "Is that left or right..."

THIIIIIS, it makes me foam at the mouth. Can't you tell left from right? How can you not know which way is north?

It's trickier in states like Connecticut, where two northbound routes might be traveling perpendicular to each other.


This. I grew up in Massachusetts and Connecticut, but lived everywhere from New York, to Nashville, to Seattle. It's why I prefer what I prefer.

As an aside, I finally got my wife to give directions with which I'm comfortable, when she's navigating for long trips. Useful tricks:

- Use "near left", "middle left", or "far left" if you're telling me to "turn left", and I'm staring at three friggin' left lanes, all of which turn onto different roads (or the highway.)
- Use "yep", "yes", "ayuh", "correct", "fine", or "good", not "right", when I'm trying to confirm directions with you.
- If distance between points seems relevant, add that info - if I don't trust your directions, I'll second-guess you, and that's not good if you're navigating. "In about five miles, take a left at the stop sign" tells me when I should start looking for it.
- Give me 1-2 points in advance, even if I ask you to repeat them later (to confirm them before I start taking action.) If I have to whip across four lanes to get from the HOV lane to take the right that's less than a quarter-mile away because you said, "OK, now get off on the next exit" when you saw the exit sign with the friggin' arrow on it, I will beat you to death with a tire iron and bury you in a shallow grave next to the sign as a warning to others.
 
2012-11-08 03:58:31 PM
In the 7th grade we were tasked with writing our own directions for every day items. The point of the exercise was to show how difficult it is to produce directions. Over the course of my life I have realized how difficult it is to teach and outline tasks.
I've also learned that if your directions are really long, contradicting, and full of obtuse metaphors they are, in practice, useless. For instance, if you are trying to discern the proper directions from a book that is a canonical collection of texts, that comprise anywhere from 66 to 81 books, writen by many generations and authors and then retranslated multiple times, then you are statistically likely to come up with hundreds if not thousands of contradicting views on the directions, and significance of each direction, all of which could not be correct logically speaking.
 
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