Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wording Matters

Here's just a taste of why we're so excited about Sylvia's high school besides the arts education she'll receive. Both the local school and new school notified us that the whooping cough vaccine was a requirement for registration. Here's an excerpt from the letter from the local school (no emphasis added on my part, but theirs):

In order to pick up a registration packet: you must have provided PROOF OF CURRENT Tdap BOOSTER immunization to school nurse. 

And here's how Sylvia's new school notified us:

A new state law mandates that all public school age children receive an immunization for whooping cough. Please do this before August 2011 and bring your immunization record during our registration period.

The letter from the new school contains no ALL CAPS shouting at me. The letter from the new school bolds what I want them to bold: dates I need to add to my calendar. It includes the word "please," and treats me like an adult.

The local school uses all caps, bold, italicizes all over the place, and the word "must" appears in nearly ever paragraph. There's no sense of respect.

The information is the same, but to say so nicely doesn't take much, and is deeply appreciated.


jenn said...

I can see how that would make a big difference. Not to mention, the all caps thing is a pet peeve of mine anyway.

BigLittleWolf said...

This is a great example of clarity and appropriate tone. (It shouldn't be hard to communicate clearly, but apparently it is.)