Tamsin Constable

Building site or PR opportunity?

Take a look at this – another pic snatched out of a moving car’s window.

It’s just a little old sign, right? But I see three problems. First, it uses unnecessary words. Second, about half the words have got three or more syllables. (Words with lots of syllables are fine, when appropriate. Shorter words, though, work better and quicker.) And third, it’s a bit stiff.

we wish to = redundant. They wouldn’t put a sign up if they didn’t wish to say something.
apologise = sorry
inconvenience = disrupt, disturb, bother
experienced = redundant word. If you didn’t experience the inconvenience, it wouldn’t be inconvenient.
construction = building / works
activities = redundant word

How about something like this:

‘The new bus station will be ready soon. Please bear with us.’

This is, in my opinion, warmer, clearer and easy to grasp as you drive by. It also seizes a opportunity to remind people why they’re putting up with the construction.

Bingo! A big, noisy construction site turns into a PR opportunity!

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