Friday, April 6, 2007

Retards Among Us

Technical writers of pharmaceutical literature have a difficult task. The document must convey its intent clearly enough to be easily followed without ambivalence, avoid any possibility of liability, and should also have some kind of official-sounding gravitas. But the language strains under these demands, to the point where common sense is abandoned. Twaddle follows suit. There are many examples of this:

7. Removing and disposing of the syringe.
After use, unscrew the Syringe Housing from the Injector Body and separate the two, slowly.

Hold the Syringe Housing above the open top area of a hard-walled container and invert the Syringe Housing, allowing the Syringe to fall out into the hard-walled container.

"The open top area"?! This defies comment.

And a logical quandary:

1. Prepare one dose of the drug:
Follow the instructions that came with the drug product.

Yes... Don't follow the (pictorial) shaving cream instructions. Do not Pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Do not pretend that anything good will ever happen to you again.

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