None of us, at first blush, would take exception to the road sign illustrated above telling motorists on the George Washington Parkway approaching National Airport a way to find out the "info" about parking conditions there, or one I saw recently giving directions for a "bike route" through Rock Creek Park.

Both, however, demonstrate a growing corruption--some, more charitably, might call it a simplification--of the English language.

Highway regulations, as they appear on the law books, relate to bicycles, not bikes. Hence a purist would suggest that sign should say "bicycle route," although it would be a tight fit on the sign. But it would be ridiculous, even if one may dislike "info," to suggest that the airport sign should be redrawn to declare: "Parking information. Tune radiotelephonic receiver to 530 AM." Those letters, of course, are an abbreviation for amplitude modulation.

Over the years, the automobile has come most of the time to be called an auto, an omnibus was simplified to a bus, an airplane has become a plane, a newspaper is a paper, lubrication has become a lube, a taxicab can be split in two directions and be either a taxi or a cab, a luncheon is a (usually quick) lunch, and some electronic devices have come to be best known by their initials: TV for television and VDT for video display terminal. Gasoline is often gas, even though gas is not always gasoline.

One new word MetroScene finds jarring is "exam," as in finals. You know what the whole word should be. When first seen on newsprint, exam seemed just a sloppy aberration, but we knew the language was condemned to suffer on with it when it appeared in the gray fastnesses of The New York Times' front page.