Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Think before you print

Came across a poster on my train today. Dumb, dumb, dumb. It was basically a union poster complaining about Southwest's policies for, I believe, discounted fares for employees and their families.

I say "I believe" because there was no way to tell, really, what they meant. Here's the first part of the poster:

Brotherly LUV
Southwest Style?
Not for Southwest Airlines
Flight Attendents (sic)

Okay, so they misspelled "Attendents." These are union local folks, give them a break. But here's the part that flummoxed me:

Discount Fares - Not Discounted
Employees and Families

Huh? Do they mean something like, "Discount Fares? Not Discounted for Employees and Families"? (Yes, that end punctuation is correct.) Or do they mean, though this is more far-fetched, "Discount the Fares - Not the Employees and Families"?

Admittedly the latter begs the question, What is a discounted employee? Clearly someone not holding his own. Regardless, I believe they mean that they want discounted fares for employees and their families, which apparently they're not receiving now. But heavens, the wording and construct are just plain squirrely.

So, to the poster folks at Transport Workers Union Local 556, I say, please read what you've written before you sign off on the poster, would you? THINK! At LEAST show your stuff to someone with an editorial bent. Now, if you did do that, if an editorial-type person did in fact read the poster, FIRE that person! Yikes!

For the rest of us, we need always, always, always to read what we've written -- before we publish -- from the point of view of our reader. Couldn't hurt. Might help.