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Use Plain Language. That Is All.

Use Plain Language. That Is All.

by Frank Roche on September 16, 2009

in Communication

septasign

That sign is posted on my SEPTA train. It’s an emergency plan. I know it’s hard to read, but near the bottom in the yellow highlight is this phrase:

IF NECESSARY TO EXIT IN A CRITICAL EMERGENCY, YOUR EGRESS CHOICES SHOULD BE…

Um, what? Egregious is more like it. Here’s your communication lesson of that day: Don’t use words you have to look up in a dictionary when you’re giving people directions. And using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS doesn’t make something more important, it just makes it harder to read. That goes double in HR.

Call things what normal people call them, not some made up HR word or euphemism. And forget the capitalizing. That’s for amateurs.

Here’s what I would have written on that sign:

If there’s an emergency, here’s where to get out.

UPDATE: Nik left a comment that has an even better phrase: In emergency, exit here.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }


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