I Can Do N,O,P or Q turns But Not U Turns?

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Traffic signs

I'm a driver and I never do U turns. I do n turns sometimes and quite often I do p, q and o turns, but why do people insist on calling them U turns?

Think about it. You are driving north and someone is looking down on your car through a camera, and for them North is at the top of their screen.

You turn around and go South without using reverse gear at any point and the shape you have made for them, and for you, is much more like an n than it is a u, isn't it?

So let's call it an n turn from now on shall we?

What about when you are going along a road that has no right turns on it (more likely in UK, Japan and Australia than mainland Europe, America or Canada).

You may have to do a q turn. A q turn is where you go past the crossroads where you wanted to turn right (East) and take the next left (West). You follow this with two more lefts (South and then East) to bring you to the crossroads where going straight ahead takes you onto the road you want.

This sort of turn, were you to choose a letter to best describe the shape; would be a q turn; where the tail of the q is where you were starting from on your journey heading North.

On your travels on roads that Keep Right you see that your desired left turn is No Left Turn and that there is a side road to the right just past the junction. Here's your chance to do a p turn. You take a right (East) and then a right (South) and then the final right (West) bringing you to the westerly heading road you want to be on at the crossroads.

The letter symbol which most closely represents your chosen turning pattern is a p.

Now if you are in the UK or other place that has roundabouts (not the US, sadly) you can choose an O turn. You can go a full circle on the roundabout and go back the way you came but it is not an n turn as you will have taken a slight left (or right on mainland Europe) and followed a circular path to get back to where you started.

So if we want to use letters of the alphabet to describe manoeuvres in cars let's pick the right letters.

It will also make Maggie Thatcher's speech about U turns incomprehensible to future generations, which is an added bonus.

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