Word Choices

ImageAs a writer, I spent lots of time mulling over word choices. Should I describe this as fast, or super-sonic? What if I said this is not slow? How does word choice affect a readers experience? Did I use the word affect correctly, or is it effect?

Yesterday as I was driving home, I noticed a sign. ‘Visibly impaired child at play’. For a small yellow caution sign, this seems awfully wordy to me. The sign is designed to caution drivers. At the same time a driver is concentrating on speed, checking their gas gauge, changing the volume of the radio, changing the station on the radio, holding their latte, checking their GPS for directions, watching for pedestrians and cyclists, and taking on the cell phone, now a driver is expected to read a wordy sign. And, understand it in a split second. Yeah, I have no doubt I can read and understand something, but some people I know don’t read. Scary, I know. I have actually met people that graduated from high school that could NOT read. That’s a blog for another time.

Why don’t they say Blind child? Oh, it’s PC (Politically correct)? I ask you this–Can’t we make signs designed for caution easy to understand?

What if they just said ‘child at play’. Do drivers need to know it’s a blind child? Also, should drivers only watch for playing children? If children are present, but don’t appear to be playing, does that mean the drivers don’t need to be aware of them?

What if the sign just said, ‘children’? But, all drivers should watch for all children at all times. Why even put out a sign?

Okay, so I admit it. It there was an occupation called ‘Grammar Police’ I’d apply. After all, why not get paid for something I do often.

Have you read any signs that are grammatically incorrect, or misspelled? Did it bother you as much as it does me?


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