I am curious about this sign and the language used. Why does it read "cannot" be responsible? Why not say, more plainly, "is not" responsible?
In context, it might read, "We are not reponsible for car or contents."
Cannot be? Really?
Language is important. Call me persnickety if you want. But it is important. Language is very influential on, informative of, and integral to, culture. It is vital to be conscious of our words, and their effects.
When communicating, there is the intended message, the message that gets sent, and then the message that is received. Unfortunately, it is difficult to make all three match up. Patience is a virtue, and so is compassion. Listening and sharing honestly and openly is certainly helpful.
In the above example, "Is not" (or "are not") seems better, to me, than "cannot."
Peace, Berd[2/16/09: edited for clarity, style and accuracy]