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a broken streetlight. / an unsafe building site.

April 30, 2009

The text below comes from a poster for 311, a New York City government hotline. The poster tries to make 311 sexy (a tall order for a hotline) by using “311” as a transitive verb. They don’t want you to “call 311 to find out where your towed vehicle has gone”–that sounds so pedestrian–rather, you “311 your towed vehicle.” In order to form imperative sentences of this type, on the poster, each of the phrases below was preceded by “311.” I didn’t get this at first, so I just read the text below, objects without predicates, and thought of it as a poem about urban life.


senior services.
your noisy neighbor.
graffiti cleanup.
food assistance.
domestic violence counseling.
a tree request.
summer meals for youth.
recycling and trash collection.
a broken streetlight.
an unsafe building site.
health care for your family.
a pothole on your street.
a dog license.
alternate side parking.
a park.
youth employment.
a heat or hot water complaint.
your towed vehicle.
One Comment leave one →
  1. luse permalink
    May 25, 2009 12:05 pm


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