communication

Annoying Cell Phones

Annoying Cell Phones

There are so many places and occasions where it is either unsafe, rude, or otherwise inappropriate to use a cell phone. Surely, you’d think it would be relatively simple to block cell phone signals in places where people shouldn’t be using them. I would certainly like a restaurant where they guaranteed that I wouldn’t hear the irritating(…)

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Design — Less Is Better

Design — Less Is Better

Dieter Rams is a German industrial engineer who is famous for his ten principles of good design. The tenth principle is “Good design is as little design as possible. Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.” I have recently(…)

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Plain Language for Medical Professionals

Plain Language for Medical Professionals

In a previous article, I described the work of Sir Ernest Gowers, an advocate of plain language. His message is “be short, be simple, be human.” Medical professionals need to master the art of communicating simply and clearly almost more than anyone else. Why, for example, would anyone believe that it’s better to say, “Do not exceed(…)

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Be Short, Be Simple, Be Human — Sir Ernest Gowers

Be Short, Be Simple, Be Human — Sir Ernest Gowers

Sir Ernest Gowers (1880 – 1966) was a British civil servant. He was educated at Rugby (where the game was invented) and Cambridge, where he studied Classics. He had a long, distinguished, and varied career with the civil service, including a time when he was private secretary for David Lloyd George when Lloyd George was introducing the(…)

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