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A little less talk

Unhelpful signs state the blindingly obvious - Telegraph

An increasing tendency for politicians, corporations and police forces to tell the public everything it never needed to know, has been highlighted by the Plain English Campaign.

The group said the attitude was that if something was not worth telling once, the "message" clearly required ramming home via a poster campaign or a trite missive on an electronic board....

He gave the example of a Hertfordshire police poster that is tackling lawlessness by urging would-be felons: Don't Commit Crime.

The same force has put notices in petrol stations telling motorists: All fuel must be paid for.

Mr Jenner said he welcomed signs that gave sensible warnings, but claimed many were not only ludicrous but also a waste of time and money.

"The Don't Commit Crime sign is funny, it makes people laugh. But it's part of a phenomenon we have noticed in recent years - a kind of talking in a vacuum.

"Such signs and notices are the opposite of gobbledegook. They assume a complete lack of intelligence on the part of the reader. Do not commit crime and pay for your fuel are hardly deterrents to a criminal who has every intention of driving off without paying, and is merely an aggressive reminder to everyone else.

"The phenomenon comes from a combination of branding and PR spin, combined with the obsession companies have with covering themselves.

"Nut packets which read 'Warning: contains nuts', or 'Do not use hair dryer in shower' are clearly designed to avoid litigation. But politicians declaring 'We are taking the terrorist threat very seriously', or 'We are committed to improving the health service' is just rhetoric."

His advice is to say what you need to plainly and simply, then stop. If nothing needs to be said, say nothing.

I'm still searching for a picture of the sign that solely states

"DO NOT THROW STONES AT THIS NOTICE "

UPDATE - here it is thanks to Aon - from http://funnysigns.atspace.com/s0001.html

Please%20Do%20Not%20Throw%20Stones%20At%20this%20Sign.jpg

Comments

Here in New Zealand there are a lot of billboards out on the open road with a nice message from the Ministry of Transport. "100 kph. It's not a target" with a pretty picture of a bull's eye next to it.

I don't think I've seen one yet that didn't have bullet holes in it...

Here's your sign:
funnysigns.atspace.com/s0015.html

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