Say it like it is

Clarity is everything, in signs as well as in technical writing.

This sign doesn’t pull any punches😉 I guess you could call it the Manly Council version of “Life, the Universe and Everything”:

Say it like it is

Say it like it is

Transcription (with adapted capitalisation and punctuation):

MANLY COUNCIL

Beware. Unstable rock formation. KEEP OUT. If you choose to proceed beyond the fence there is risk of serious injury through collapsing rock including but not limited to serious neck and spinal injuries and even death. By Order, General Manager.

“Serious injury… including but not limited to… death.” Oh dear.

And I particularly like the last bit: “By Order, General Manager”. It adds just the right touch of bathos.

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 1 November 2008, in bits n bobs, humour and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It still is a bit indirect. How about:

    If you choose to go beyond the fence, you could be injured, paralyzed, or killed if the rocks collapse.

    Ever notice how you never see a product recall notice that says “Because we screwed up, you could die”?

  2. This is hilarious! I read a book many years ago that had all sorts of similarly worded signs, and it had me chuckling the entire time. Brava.

  3. Hi Sarah, Maybe you’d like to check out D-SIGNS,
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23463182422
    a couple of hundred similar and rising, or even publish to it, we’d love to have you there!

  4. Hallo Steve
    Thank you. That’s a very interesting group on Facebook. I have joined, and posted a picture of a sign too.

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