But what hadn't occurred to me until very recently is what a challenge it might be for road-signs.
A few weeks ago, on my way to Turku
aerodrome international airport from the village vibrant town of Huittinen (10,000 inhabitants), I drove past a road-sign indicating the direction to the motor sport centre of Alastaro.
Now just consider for one moment the challenge of accommodating a word with 21 letters (moottoriurheilukeskus), plus the distance (thankfully a mere 2 kilometres).
First, you need to employ all the Finnish engineering know-how to construct a metal sign that is at least double the length of a normal sign (just think of the problem of metal expansion and contraction across the seasons).
Then you have to put it in a place that will not be obstructed by trees and other such inconvenient obstacles. In this case, the sign is placed on a small, purpose-built brick island.
And that sign is big!
Just check out this picture, courtesy of Speedgroup Club Europe (yes, that woman is roughly of average adult size):
That got me wondering: what is the longest place name in Finland?
With the help of a search engine, I determined there was a place in Lapland called Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä. Sadly, it is a bog area, so presumably not needing sign-posting (at least, I couldn't find a photo of one).
One bar owner made a brave attempt to redress this omission by naming his establishment "Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä baari".