I've long been fascinated by the Polite Notice signs you see, written in a semi-official font, trying to trick the quick glancer into thinking it is, in fact, a Police Notice. I remember seeing them a lot at the seaside when I was growing up in the 70s. People trying to stop tourists from parking in front of their garage.
Are there other examples of wide-spread societally-sanctioned punning? I hope so but I can't think of any.
Clearly, though, now, for many people, that original deceptive purpose is lost and they imagine that's just what you have to write on a notice. Like writing Dear Someone at the beginning of an email. And that maybe if it says Polite Notice then it will be seen as Polite.
I was out for coffee this morning and I saw a moped rider who'd taken this to the next level. He was wearing a hi-viz jacket with POLITE written on the back in a bold police-y font. Apparently these are quite common. This approach seems more likely to actually achieve something - it'll get drivers to slow down in that reflexive way that seems to work for cardboard police officers.
It also conjured up the obvious ultimate end-state, people driving round in cars with checks and hi-viz markings, lights on the top and POLITE emblazoned on the side.
I might do that myself.
(There are currently 447 of you. The 447th Test and Evaluation Squadron was a classified US air force unit that flew captured soviet planes to train US pilots in dog-fighting techniques.)