So Start Chugging


Before posting, I thought about the picture of this sign and was debating if it was cultural appropriation or not.  Then I thought about the meaning of cultural appropriation- taking something and changing it, but leaving clues that reference the original piece.  Truthfully, I’m not sure this image technically counts as cultural appropriation, but here goes my attempt to justify my post.  

By first looking at the piece of metal itself, viewers instantly recognize the shape of it.  The rectangular frame with the rounded edges are an immediate signal to viewers that this piece is something official. It triggers thoughts of “No Trespassing” signs.  Next, viewers notice the color of the sing.  Once again, they recognize the colors of the white background and red letters.  These colors are used not only in no trespassing signs but other official signs such as stop signs.  Lastly, the viewer reads the words.  Walking into many stores, people see the “No shoes, no shirt, no service” signs.  People are used to being told what they are not allowed to do when going into certain places; making everything but the last line of this sign normal.  The last line however is where I believe cultural appropriation comes into play.  While the viewer can recognize the intention of the sign (from the reasons I listed above), the last line makes a joke out of the rule that is being enforced.  Telling the person to chug their drink could possibly give the viewer some insight to the culture.  Perhaps this is an area where a lot of college students hang out or an area that sporting events occur in.  Either way, even with a joke at the end of this sign, viewers still recognize the original qualities but appreciate the new addition.



  1. @sofiagallicchio, I appreciate you taking a chance on this image. You are right to point out the similarities between this sign and what you would see in other types of signs. They both use an official voice and language in form and text. However, this would not be an example of appropriation because the sign above still functions to inform people of a rule, even though the last line changes the official-sounding tone to a more humorous one. The meaning and function of the “No Alcohol…” sign is still essentially the same. At the same time, this sign would be a good example of interpellation because it calls out to the viewer and makes him or her recognize that he/she is part of a particular group to whom the sign is intended to reach (perhaps a college student or attendee at a sporting event, as you point out).

  2. I think you did a pretty good job trying to justify this as cultural appropriation. Although, there are several things about this sign that show the message is meaningful even with the last line being present. It definitely does speak to a younger, more party-prone audience but conveys a strict message that is not interrupted by the humor of the overall meaning. The audience is very important when trying to justify this as cultural appropriation.
    I think your analysis of how the sign looks and what its appearance triggers is done very nicely. There are multiple layers to the sign that trigger the audience into taking the meaning seriously. This sign could be a good example of interpellation as it makes the reader feel like doing a certain thing, in this case chugging their drink. It makes the person recognize they are the direct audience and must adhere to what the sign says.

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