Why Don't We Write as We Speak?

By Andrew Maslen

I was sitting in the cinema recently, waiting for the film to start. After the ads and the trailers, we were treated to this screen announcement:

"The management regrets the necessity of informing patrons that the safety of personal valuables cannot be guaranteed and they should not be placed where they cannot be seen."

A bemused, then amused, murmur went round as we worked out what it meant:

"Keep your bags safe: don't put them on the floor."

'You can't go out looking like that!'

That started me thinking about the way we dress up perfectly simple messages in stifling layers of unnecessary language. It's almost as if we're ashamed to let our words out of doors unadorned. Here are a few examples that trip off the keyboard but should be avoided.

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