deird1: Anya looking stern (Anya glasses)
[personal profile] deird1
The Context
A kid was killed by an alligator at Disney World. The pond he was wading in had a sign saying "no swimming".

The Argument
The parents were at fault because
a) It's Florida, alligators are everywhere, and everyone should know this.
b) There was a "no swimming" sign, which should have clued them in that alligators were likely to be in the area.

The Rebuttal
a) I am Australian. I live in a very dangerous region of the world, where we don't put on gumboots without checking for spiders. We expect to find snakes, dingoes, sharks, and crocodiles in most outdoor settings.
I would not have expected there to be alligators in this pond.
Yes, I'm aware that Florida has alligators, but Queensland has crocodiles, and I still expect hotels to be crocodile-free. Crocodiles can't generally get over fences. Alligators can. I didn't know this.

b) If I see a sign that says "Danger: Crocodiles! No swimming!", I expect there to be crocodiles around, and that I shouldn't go swimming. If I see a sign that simply says "no swimming", sans explanation or exclamation marks, I assume it's roughly equivalent to "keep off the grass" - ie: the maintenance crew are trying to stop you from trashing the area. I certainly wouldn't expect wading to be dangerous.



People who keep making this argument? You kinda suck.

Date: 2016-06-21 04:27 pm (UTC)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
From: [personal profile] melannen
I do generally expect a "no swimming" sign in an otherwise public area to mean "the water is dangerous" (although here it's more likely to mean pollution or riptides than giant prehistoric predators...) I would also, however, generally expect another sign that attempted to explain why it was dangerous.

Also I would expect any body of water in Disney World that wasn't fenced off to be reasonably safe to wade in even if posted No Swimming, because... Disney. And alligators can move fast on land too!

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