Public Announcements

“‘Hum’. ‘Crack’.  This is a public announcement.  Will all those ‘pop’ who are ‘crackle’ please ‘fizz’ so that ‘silence’, ‘pop’ and ‘fizz’ to ‘crackle’.  Thankyou.”

In these days of modern communication, where you can speak to your friend in Coventry or Kuala Lumpa without distortion (baring the midlands accent, that is) why can’t a local public speaker be understood?  They are only connected by wire. Hardly, cutting edge technology.

However, this article isn’t really about the poor quality of sound, but the poor quality of words.  All the quotes below are real world examples and the culprits are named and shamed.

Message on South West Trains on nearing Clapham Junction, that applies to most station platforms that are shorter than the actual train.  “Would customers alighting at Clapham Junction, please use the first five carriages…”  Doh! Should that be ‘…one of the first five’?

The British Government’s latest ‘Kill your speed’ campaign.  What on earth is that all about?  How on earth do you kill speed?  It doesn’t possess life so how can it be killed?  And the roadsign that accompanies the message.  It depicts a hand lowering onto a speed limit.  So how does that work then?  How does putting a hand down kill speed?  Lifting a foot would be more appropriate.  The only vehicles that have hand throttles are motorbikes.  And putting the hand down is more akin to the method of speeding up!  I suppose some cars adapted for disability use may have hand throttles.  Perhaps the Government is really targeting these arch criminals!

Finally, I recently noticed an advertising slogan proudly plastered in huge lettering in Marks and Spencer.  ‘Our bread is baked from authentic recipes from around the globe.’  As opposed to what?  Does a non-authentic recipe exist?  Is anything baked somewhere that isn’t around the globe?  The copywriters really earned their crust on this one!

Author: Vince Poynter
From the opinions sections of the website dated 4 Jan 2018, but first published in version 1.02 in Jan 2004.