enter image description here

This is on a shirt I got for free once and now it's driving me crazy!


I strongly suspect it isn't a rebus at all, but a geeky joke about (workplace?) informality.

In some text editors and Unix text-processing tools, the notation s/thing1/thing2/g means "replace thing1 with thing2 everywhere". (I think s is for "substitute" and the "g" for "global".)

So it's saying "replace ties with trainers[1]", which might mean something like "get out of work and go running" or "wear informal clothes to work rather than suit and tie" or "get out of work and sit around at home in comfortable gear". (My guess is that it's the second of those, and that the shirt is actually advertising a company to prospective employees, suggesting "if you work here you won't have to wear a tie". Is there anything on the shirt that would give a clue?)

The target audience is probably either programmers or Unix system administrators.

[1] Sports shoes. Pumps. Whatever the local term for them is. Where I am, it's "trainers".

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! Yeah it was from a tech fair from shutterstock, makes sense! $\endgroup$
    – Mike
    Jan 26 '17 at 22:23
  • 19
    $\begingroup$ As someone with a Unix background, I would absolutely interpret this as advertising a workplace where you can ditch the tie and dress casually. $\endgroup$ Jan 27 '17 at 11:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just to confirm: g does mean "global". The thing between the first two slashes is a regex, and after the last one are its flags. The flags might also define how many times things are replaced per line or per file, or how the overall program behaves, depending on the program interpreting it. $\endgroup$
    – Nic
    Jan 27 '17 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ "get out of work and go running" | "The target audience is probably either programmers or Unix system administrators." The only thing Unix admins run are scripts.. /s $\endgroup$
    – Failsafe
    Jan 27 '17 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ I am aware of this :-). My suggestion that the second of the interpretations I listed is the most likely was not pure guesswork... $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jan 27 '17 at 18:15

As Gareth explained s/thing1/thing2/g means global substitution of thing1 with thing2 in the programming world.

So, here it could also mean

Work is fun or stretching it further ( as I am a programmer :P), programming is a work where work is substituted with fun.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ No, s/thing1/thing2/g is not a regex. It's a command in ex (and, by extension, vim) and sed. thing1 is a regex within this command. $\endgroup$
    – wchargin
    Jan 27 '17 at 17:59

I was reading it as

enter image description here
1. the tie looks like small-letter "i" ; with a round head.
2. the black stripe of 2 shoes together forms an "N" of capital letter

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Didn't downvote. But a tip - It could have been a good answer if there was a lateral thinking tag in there. Plus an extra image related to the word sing. $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Jan 29 '17 at 3:11

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