One evening last week I entered the lobby of the building, checked the mail, and turned to see taped to the elevator door a piece of paper with the following message:
ELEVATOR IS ACTING UP. MANAGEMENT HAS BEEN NOTIFIED.
(Yes, in all capitals like that.)
Now, I wasn't bothered, as I prefer the stairs anyway, and I grasped what information the sign intended to convey (that the elevator was out of service), but I was intrigued by the choice of phrase. One of my first thoughts, without even trying, was, Well, isn't that what you want from an elevator—for it to act "up"?
Of all the ways to put that sentiment, the writer chose one where it featured the word that is synonymous with what a properly functioning elevator would do.
That the wording was an expression suggesting that a mechanical device exhibiting the behavior of an insolent child proved an interesting element to the situation, and to me indicated it was written by a parent. I can't imagine a childless person selecting that phraseology.
I'm pretty sure I'm the only resident of the building who analyzed the sign this way. I would speculate that most everyone else simply experienced dismay that they'd have to take the stairs.
This is my world.