Posts tagged “tone”

Cupcake EULA

Warning Sign, Haute Pink Cakes, San Diego, CA, July 2010

The text of the sign:

*If cupcakes are dropped by customers it is our policy to refrost them, and place them in a new box for $1/box. That’s the cost of the box – this could take probably 15 minutes depending on how busy we are)
We do not offer new cupcakes. If you wish to purchase new cupcakes you may receive 10% off the total, but only for that visit, same order.
*Offers cannot be combined. One coupon or offer per customer per day. Military discount not to be combined with Buy One-Get One Free coupons. Coupons will not be taken for day olds.
*We do not take American Express. Also, no credit cards will be accepted for amounts under $7.00.

One has to wonder about the frequency and severity of the exceptions that led this small bakery to break from their pink/fluffy/hip/indulgent vibe with this pre-emptively admonishing lists of warnings and do-nots. The owners have failed to internalize the brand experience they are trying to create with their flagship product.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • The Computer Will See You Now – how the computer interferes with the doctor-patient interaction – Doctors struggle daily to figure out a way to keep the computer from interfering with what should be going on in the exam room — making that crucial connection between doctor and patient. I find myself apologizing often, as I stare at a series of questions and boxes to be clicked on the screen and try to adapt them to the patient sitting before me. I am forced to bring up questions in the order they appear, to ask the parents of a laughing 2-year-old if she is “in pain,” and to restrain my potty mouth when the computer malfunctions or the screen locks up.

    The computer depersonalizes medicine. It ignores nuances that we do not measure but clearly influence care. Room is provided for text, but in the computer’s font, important points often get lost.

    A box clicked unintentionally is as detrimental as an order written illegibly — maybe worse because it looks official. It takes more effort and thought to write a prescription than to pull up a menu of medications and click a box.

  • Tension between medical and colloquial language – an issue I explored in interactions column (Poets, Priests, and Politicians) – (via MeFi) Dr Ardill, in evidence, said he did not use the words alleged by Ms McQuade. He said he asked her was she “next or near a man’s willy bits” in the last six months and in relation to her sleeping he did suggest a drink, light exercise, a trashy novel or some “rumpy pumpy”. He said he used this kind of “childish” language with all patients to make them feel at ease. Nobody before had found it offensive. He said he would not use the term “willy bits” again.

Risks of smartass system messages

I got a 500 Internal Server Error on YouTube yesterday.

It began with the usual Web 2.0 PoMo post-ironic stuff.

Sorry, something went wrong.

A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.

And then what seemed to be a more serious request, complete with link

In any case, please report this incident to customer service.
Also, please include the following information in your error report:

Hmm. What do information do they want me to include?


Now, are they being smartass or serious? Yeah, cut and paste is cut and paste whether it’s two lines or two paragraphs, but that mass of computer gibberish is something they want me to use to communicate to a human? Strange and off-putting. Let’s put some of that Google money to work on that, folks…


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