Redundant restatements

At the airport the other day, every announcement was preceded with (at full volume)  "Attention All Personnel." Sometimes, they said it twice.

The thing is, as soon as you start blasting audio, you’ve got my attention. Stating that you want my attention not only doesn’t get you more of my attention, it gets you less.

Not only is "Attention" useless, the word "all" doesn’t do us much good either. And "personnel" is a fancy, bureaucratic word that doesn’t mean a thing. Are they saying that they only want paid workers to listen? Paid airport workers?

I bring this up not because you’re the twit who made the announcer talk in such an officious way, but because you one day may find yourself in a situation where you’re writing a blog or a letter or an email or whatever… and you’ll be tempted to fill the space.


Short sentences get read.

Not long ones.

While we’re at it: short words are better than long ones.