Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to improve writing (no. 34)

Signage: “Reserved for Visiting Guests.”

Better: “Reserved for Guests.” Or “Reserved for Visitors.”

Omit needless words!

[This post is no. 34 in a series, “How to improve writing,” dedicated to improving stray bits of public prose.]

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comments: 2

Elaine Fine said...

Perhaps the sign might be there to differentiate between visiting guests and (perhaps less welcome) permanent ones! Perhaps it might be passive-aggressive way to tell somebody who has overstayed his or her welcome that it might be time to pack up and move onward.


Elaine said...

Or 'Reserved for Unwelcome Guests' might have been one of the superseded signage efforts. I am almost persuaded about the 'permanent guests' argument ("The Man Who Came to Dinner") and possible unhappy sequelae.