There are commonly "NO STEP" signs on airplanes where damage could be caused if a maintenance worker inadvertently put weight on a delicate part of the fuselage.

However, the grammar of this appears to be off. It should either be:

  • No Stepping -- akin to No Smoking, as it is the activity that is prohibited


  • Not a Step -- this is not a step (noun)

Does anyone have any sense of why the grammar of this sign is incorrect? What is the history of it? Does it hark back to the military?

  • 12
    $\begingroup$ My gut feeling is that this could be more suited for English.SE and their etymologists, rather than aviation. Most likely, and this is speculation now, they used NO STEP because it was short, easy to understand and made the message come across. Don't other signs also use incorrect grammar, e.g. "No turn on red"? $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2015 at 11:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I lived in non English speaking countries and this kind of grammar mistakes are usually easier to understand by people. Plus, it's shorter so easier to read/to put in big caps. My guess it that it is correct and that the rest of the sentence is simply omitted. $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Apr 29, 2015 at 12:38
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close and migrate this question to English.SE. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2015 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ Sometime you have both "no step" and "no stepping". $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Apr 29, 2015 at 18:47
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ To be honest, although is a language related question, I don't think it is off-topic, as might give us better understanding of small details of aircraft business. I recommend not to close. $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2015 at 19:48


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