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GannettUSA Today

Monday, March 20, 2006

Just the facts ...

Why is it that ...

You drive past a freshly cleared tract along a highway and posted prominently is the name of the developer and/or bank behind this commercial development. But do they tell you what kind of new businesses are coming to town? No. Telling you what's going to make you wait in traffic is not their thing.

You're looking for the highway exit to your home town, but the strangest names might pop up. For example, on Route 33 east, the exit for Route 537 west is marked "Smithburg.'' Now, how many motorists know that Smithburg is the name given to sections of Manalapan and Freehold townships? In this case, the road is in Freehold Township, so why not just say it?

You're listening to the weather forecast on the radio. The meteorologist (isn't it amazing how many of them are around on the airwaves?) says the temperatures will be below normal, in the low 40s. But these experts rarely, if ever, tell you what the normal high is - as if it were protected by the Patriot Act. What's wrong with giving complete information?


Anonymous Nick said...

I think what you are describing is a more general problem -- people refusing to see things from the other guy's perspective. If the bureaucrat could put himself in our shoes for a moment, he would realize a sign for almost-mythical Smithburg is silly. Another example: Think of speakers when they invariably start with "Can everyone hear me in the back?" If they would see themselves from their audience's perspective, they would say simply "Can you hear me?" Only the speaker sees the audience as "everyone." The people in the audience see themselves as individuals.

10:05 AM, March 22, 2006  

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