One way I strive to make sense and add control to my world is by clarifying what I hear -- from the people I interact with to the messages I hear and read throughout the day. There are constant examples of unclear or ambiguous messages all around us:
Editorials and News--Blurring the Lines
Forget about FOX News. Why does the rest of the news media try and attach reasons to the stock market's performance? The Yahoo headline read: "Stocks tumble as investors worry about nervous consumers." The only fact in that headline is that stocks tumbled. The rest is an editorial. What if they did this with other news? I fear it's just a matter of time.
Encode a Name--and Make it More "Memorable"
This ia one of my favorites. Why does the federal government make up a name for something as well coined as swine flu and call it H1N1? It's hard for me to even type that. It uses the same technique of mixing numerals with letters that security experts advise using to make up hard to crack passwords.
Can You Be a Little More Ambiguous?
I had to do a double-take with this bumper sticker. It's from the 08 election, but still out there. At first glance, I read it as a pro Obama sticker -- but there's a disconnect with the words. It wasn't clear whether the message is for or against Obama. One could read it two ways. "Bark Obama" as a negative suggests he is a dog. "Unleash change" can go both ways as well. Unleashing a dog might be good. Or bad, depending on the dog. And whether it's even a dog. Either way, it's a wasted effort.
Copyright 2010, Bremmer & Goris Communications, Inc.