RE: Get Offended

Subject: RE: Get Offended
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 19:06:31 -0700

"Jason A. Czekalski" <topsidefarm -at- mva -dot- net> wrote:

>The second (and this is probably more in line with Andrew's complaint)
>is the namby-pamby wording of safety warnings. Everybody is afraid of
>offending equipment users by using stern warnings like "Do not...",
>..may cause serious harm or death.", etc. These get replaced with
>"Please...", or "...could cause unpleasant results.", and other childish

Some of what you call "watering down" can also be a localization
issue. Canadian warnings in public places tend to be much more
polite than American ones.

For example, where an American sign might say: "Keep off the
grass! Tresspassers will be fined!", a Canadian equivalent would
be "Please keep off the grass. We appreciate your courtesy." To
many Canadians (and, I suspect, many British), what Americans see
as forthright simply seems rude.

(Which reminds me of the old joke: How do you get 50 drunken
Canadians out of a swimming pool? You say, "Please get out of the

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
"The Open Road" column, Maximum Linux
3015 Aries Place, Burnaby, BC V3J 7E8, Canada
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7189

"Hal-an-tow, jolly rumble-o,
We were out long before the day-o
To welcome in the summer time, to welcome in the May-o,
Summer is a-coming in and winter's gone away."
- Traditional

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