RE: Dumb warnings

Subject: RE: Dumb warnings
From: "Grant, Christopher" <CGrant -at- glhec -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 10:59:47 -0600

> > For your edification and amusement, I offer the
> > following collection of "dumb" warning messages:
> >

> I don't get it.

I agree with Kevin, for the most part I don't get it either. Some of those
listed there are legitimately dumb: "Keyboard not detected. Press F1 to
continue." And the Blockbuster "Be kind -- rewind" _is_ dumb, because it's
printed on DVD cases in addition to VHS cases. Those are funny, and if I
was the technical writer that wrote the keyboard error one, I'd be
embarrassed because I clearly didn't understand the product I was
documenting. I wish the site contained only messages like that, because
those are funny.

However, there are many stupid consumers, and I think many of the warnings
on that site aren't dumb - it's the people reading them that are dumb. "The
camera will only work when film is inside." I've seen MANY people think
that a camera will work even with your thumb over the lens/flash - thinking
that it would work without film isn't that much of a stretch. Blowdryer:
"Keep away from water." Not everyone understands that a blow dryer gets its
heat from an electric heating element. "Use before the expiration date."
Not everyone realizes that drugs DO have a limited shelf life.

I think the site should be called "Dumb People and the Warnings that Must be
Created to Keep them Safe." :)

Chris Grant

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