Re: Fw: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?

Subject: Re: Fw: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?
From: CHRISTINE ANAMEIER <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 10:34:56 -0400

Mark Levinson wrote:
> In order to get more cups per pound from its coffee beans,
> McDonalds was using superheated water. People had been badly
> burned before, and this goes to the issue of merchantability:
> a product is supposed to conform to expectations. I expect
> the coffee that McDonalds makes to be not much more dangerous
> than the coffee I get at the diner or the coffee I make at home.

Mark, thanks for posting this! This is the first time I've seen a coherent
explanation of (a) why the coffee inflicts such unusually severe burns, and (b)
how our expectations of normal coffee temperatures fit into this picture. The
McDonalds coffee story has unfortunately become a kind of shorthand for "greedy,
litigious whiners," and your explanation shows why it shouldn't be.

Your post is what good tech writing should be: you didn't forge ahead with
incomplete or wrong information; and you didn't just tell us all to go look it

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