Careful Wording

I’m sat here looking at the instruction manual of a domestic hot water pump. The warning at the beginning amuses me. Here’s how it starts:

The use of this product requires experience with and knowledge of the product.

Pfffft! It then goes on:

Persons with reduced physical, sensory or mental capabilities must not use this product…

So lunatics should keep well away. Sounds sensible.

…unless…

Wait, there are situations where nutters can fiddle around with it?

…they are under supervision or have been instructed in the use of the product by a person responsible for their safety.

So if they’re with their nurse while on day-release, they’re free to use a domestic hot water pump. That’s good to know.

Slightly more seriously, you can imagine a committee sitting around trying to write this, feeling the need to cover their arse while at the same time avoiding any accusation of being prejudiced towards disabled differently-abled people. Multiply these efforts across the entire economy, and you’ll see how much time, money, and energy we’re wasting.

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12 thoughts on “Careful Wording

  1. The use of this product requires experience with and knowledge of the product.

    What? How? I’ve only just bought it!

  2. Labels and attitudes vary. I remember seeing on an Australian biscuit mix packet: “Remember kids! Coz some of you are tards get Mum or Dad to use the oven”.
    Life still stirs down there.

  3. Recently, I’ve started to see warnings on prescription drugs stating, “do not take if you are allergic to anything in [name of drug].” How in hell am I supposed to know that?

  4. >Labels and attitudes vary. I remember seeing on an Australian biscuit mix packet: “Remember kids! Coz some of you are tards get Mum or Dad to use the oven”.
    >Life still stirs down there.

    That must have been a long time ago.

  5. It is, as Tim points out, arse covering and the Government transferring the costs and liabilities of any injury or damage to the manufacturer.

    You didn’t think that the government introduced all that health and safety legislation because it cares for you and loves you, did you? No, it doesn’t want to spend tax money on patching you up and potentially paying you invalidity benefit for the rest of your life. They have far more important things to piss the cash away than Joe Public.

    Hence the manufacturer (of anything, really) trying to avoid prosecution/fines and liability by pointing out the bleedin’ obvious.

    I fully expect to see a rifle with “DANGER! May cause injury or death if misused. Read the manual before use” engraved on the barrel.

  6. PhilB: “I fully expect to see a rifle with “DANGER! May cause injury or death if misused. Read the manual before use” engraved on the barrel.”

    Didn’t the US Army stamp all its Claymore mines ‘Front towards enemy’…?

  7. ‘front towards enemy’

    That’s not quite so dumb as it sounds. A Claymore is only gently curved and unless you know it might not be immediately obvious if the front is the convex side or the concave side. For many explosive weapons such as explosively formed projectiles, anti tank HEAT rounds, etc which rely on on the hollow charge effect the concave side is the business end.

  8. “I’m sat here…”. Please stop sounding like a Daily Mail intern, Tim! Are you sitting or have you finished? Did someone force you into a sitting posture? That is a grammatical monstrosity that should be avoided by the literate.

  9. Seriously, this is what HR does.

    I don’t know exactly who came up with that, but I am very confident it wasn’t HR. Remember I said:

    Everywhere I’ve worked without exception there has been an unbridgeable gulf between the HR department and those who carry out the company operations. On the rare occasions they meet, they’re talking completely different languages.

    I meant it.

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