Re: The Technical Communicator as Lobbyist

Subject: Re: The Technical Communicator as Lobbyist
From: Nora Merhar <MERHAR -at- ALENA -dot- BITNET>
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 13:04:37 CDT

Re Steven Jong's letter:

I thought that the reason manufacturers include warning labels on ANYTHING
was to protect themselves from liability. In other words, I think that
what Steven proposes already exists, to such an extent that I recently filled
a prescription for pills, and the bottle carried a label "This product to be
taken by mouth only" (what, precisely, did they think I was going to do
with it--stick it up my nose?).

This is apparently why MacDonald's had to pay so much to that old lady who
spilled coffee in her lap--because the coffee did not say "Warning: Coffee is
hot!" (the cups now say this).

We are inundated with warnings and cautions, some of which are useful, and
some of which exist for the sole purpose of protecting the manufacturer from
people with no common sense (i.e., drain cleaner says "Not to be taken
internally"). I can't see how proposing to add more would help either technical
writers, manufacturers, or our overtaxed legal system.

merhar -at- switch -dot- rockwell -dot- com

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